When I reviewed the course content on new models I, once again, thought about how my workplace, the CSULB library, fit into how library spaces are adapting. While it has long been discussed that libraries are moving away from being simply warehouses of books, it wasn’t until I watched Pam Sandlian Smith’s TEDtalk did I understand, at its core, what the library space was actually for. It is a “space for learning” (Smith, 2013)! Once upon a time the best way to facilitate learning was thought to be through books, but as technology and different learning styles emerge books are not necessarily king. As a library technician, I have found myself concerned with the continually lack of physical material in CSULB library. In my mind, a lack of books, periodicals, and journals meant a lack of resources. But, as I reconsider the reason for the change, or rather my understanding of why this change was taking place, I am starting to change my opinion. The books taken off shelves to make way for open study spaces should not be viewed as a taking away of learning materials, but rather an opening up for learning opportunities.
I wonder where my hesitance for these changes came from? Perhaps it was because when introduced to staff these changes were explained as “following library trends” and not framed as important for student success. In an Long Beach Post article titled “Robots, 3D printers and outlet shortages: College libraries are changing with the times” one our librarians exclaimed “You always have to be looking at what’s the next trend, what are we going to do?” (September 6, 2018). As my previous blog posts have reflected, I am weary of this idea that we, as the CSULB library, need to implement change as a way of “keeping up with the Jones”, or prove that we were the first to implement something. I am starting to think that my fear comes from the fact that administrators demonstrate success of these changes through applauding the change, rather than how this change has reflected in student success. I am glad that this module, and course as a whole, is allowing me to reflect on my long held beliefs and hopefully be more agreeable to my library’s every changing space.
Osier, V. (2018, September 6). Robots, 3D printers and outlet shortages: College libraries are changing with the times. Long Beach Post. https://lbpost.com/news/education/3d-college-libraries-library-librarians-csulb
Smith, P. S. (2013, December). What to expect from libraries in the 21st century: Pam Sandlian Smith at TEDxMileHigh [Video]. TED Conferences. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fa6ERdxyYdo