As someone who was born and raised in a Victorian farm home that was built just three years after the Library Bureau’s 1890 catalog, I can’t help but be drawn to the images of dictionary stands featured in Shannon Mattern’s “Library as Infrastructure” (2014). It’s challenging to begin to truly fathom how much the field of library and information science has evolved over the past century (or even decade!), and it’s even more unfathomable to imagine where we—and our libraries—will be in another hundred years. The international libraries featured in Module 3’s readings, namely those in the Netherlands and Denmark, appear to be the most accurate indicator of what future libraries may look like (highly inclusive, interactive, user-centered, versatile spaces for both collaborative and independent activities), but we’ll just have to observe and wait for further developments. Another side note: Mattern’s (2014) discussion of the early Carnegie buildings also deeply resonates with me, as my beloved childhood library, the Ferndale Public Library, was built in 1910 with a grant from Andrew Carnegie and is one of the few Carnegie libraries that still functions as such today.
And although most of the examples from Module 3’s readings featured libraries in well-populated cities, I can’t help but be wildly inspired by their bold and innovative efforts to consider how I—as someone who is interning at a rural university library—may one day implement such practices on smaller scale with limited funding. Mal Booth’s (2013) “People and the UTS Library” includes a robust amount of inspiring recommendations that I can easily imagine benefitting the Humboldt State University (HSU) Library and its surrounding community, but I’m especially thrilled with her assertion that, “[i]ncreasingly, I think we need more people around us who will help us to challenge the norm for library practice, particularly for academic libraries” (p. 8). The HSU Library uniquely stands out amongst both the CSU libraries, as well as the other libraries in Humboldt County, making it an excellent candidate for experimental and unconventional policies which may, in turn, help Humboldt State University reinvent itself as a smaller institution that’s not afraid to challenge the norm. Even if it’s one small step at a time, I’m certain that many of Booth’s (2013) recommendations may be applicable (and beneficial!) to the HSU Library and its growing population of users.
Booth, M. (2013). People and UTS Library. INFO 287 – The Hyperlinked
Library. Retrieved from https://287.hyperlib.sjsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Booth_PeopleUTSLibrary.pdf
Mattern, S. (2014). Library as infrastructure. Places Journal. Retrieved from https://placesjournal.org/article/library-as-infrastructure/