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Inspiration Report: The Browsable Library


  1. Christina Perucci

    Hey Cesar,

    Beautiful report – I really love the design. And, as much as I love libraries as libraries, I do also love the way bookstore setups often allow for serendipitous discoveries. In some ways, I think this way of organizing fits better with the way younger generations think. If you read Dresang’s Radical Change Theory article in Info 200, she talks about how younger generations tend to learn in a less linear, more meandering way. Makes sense to have libraries that fit their style.

    Also, how did I miss that you are in Sac? Do you work at Los Rios? My new(ish) neighbor is the Dean of Libraries at ARC…or so I’ve heard. I’ve not actually met him yet and I keep trying to figure out a subtle way to get on his radar (short of, you know, knocking on his door with a plate of cookies and my resume).

    • C.R. Reyes

      @christinaperucci That’s so interesting, I hadn’t read Dresang’s Radical Change Theory but I definitely will now. This brings to another thought, perhaps – yes we are in need of changing the library to a more browsable model because of this emerging generation, but the other thought is – has the current library models (Dewey & LOC) ever been helpful to patrons? I don’t know the history, per say, so I am merely surmising at this point, but it seems the systems were created for the benefit of the librarians to find things and catalog them – not for the benefit of the patron. It may also be, we are not more user focused than we are driven by our own needs.

      Also, yes! I do. And I know him! He was my boss when I first worked in the district. I helped to support him. I am happy to introduce you both via email if that is something you are interested in.



      • Christina Perucci

        Thanks Cesar, I sent you a DM.

  2. Desiree Dillon

    @cesear, I enjoyed reading your inspiration report! When I was studying for my Bachelor’s degree, I remember that I didn’t go to the library unless I needed to study. Even when I was studying, I didn’t enjoy the atmosphere because it didn’t feel welcoming! As a student who lived on campus, it would have been great if I could check out a book for leisure! I think it would have made my spare time more enjoyable. I truly hope that more academic libraries bring leisure books back!

  3. Matt Carney

    Hi Cesear,

    I really appreciated your report, especially as someone with no employment experience in libraries but several years of experience in bookstores (often setting up and taking down said displays). You perfectly capture just how good for a space overall these kind of displays can be, a holistic feeling of curiosity and just good vibes that goes beyond any measurable impact. Also, as you note, it can help promote engagement with the staff as the items that are on display are very likely that the ones are especially excited about. Finally, especially for the academic libraries, given how much time students may spend in there you’ve also proposed an excellent way to keep the space from feeling too stale and given some natural variance from themed display to themed display. All in all a great presentation and absolutely a lesson that I think any physical space with books could learn from.

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