The New Hyperlinked Library Model?

Photo: My trip to the NYPL on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street
New York, NY 10016

A couple of questions arose when I completed this set of readings: Do we still need libraries, and if we do, is it possible to modernize current libraries to make them more appealing for future generations? 

There are plenty of individuals that would answer the first question with a simple Yes. With that being said, I myself do believe that libraries are still an important part of our everyday life, regardless of whether someone can look up and read articles or books on the world wide web. Libraries have always been a home to some and removing them from society will ultimately hurt the large demographic that still rely on them for a variety of reasons. Take Aaron Schmidt’s (2014) realization for instance. He spent the day cycling then went into town to the library he knew best, walked into the bathroom and started refreshing himself. Realizing that he was that guy bathing in the restroom, he quickly thought of an important concept that might make sense to implement in all library settings: Showers. As I mentioned before, libraries are a home for some and to them away will affect the large group that uses them (e.g. Homeless Communities). Dedicated library showers would allow anyone to wash up, if needed. It seems like a good idea and I would really like to see a prototype or plan for these in the future.

I realized that Yes we do in fact still need libraries, but is it possible to modernize them in some shape or form? In 2017, the Free University of Amsterdam told their staff and students that they would be renovating their library (Leferink, S., 2018). The one request students made was to keep the physical books because they provided a level of comfort and atmosphere. One of the reasons I visit the library is to look at, touch, pick up and read the books. Even if I am not checking anything out, being in a library gives me a sense of comfort. It may just be me, but I enjoy it. Even Buffy Hamilton and Roxanne Johnson at the Creekview High school Media Center in Canton, Georgia thought of a way to innovate and redo the current 9,000-square-foot media center. They found a way to use student’s smartphones and Smart boards (Mathews, B., 2010). Jasper Visser (2011) found a public library in Delft, DOK that goes against all the rules of a normal library. Imagine this: A library you can talk freely in without having to lower your voice, one that has Spotify Stations, Xbox’s, complimentary Wireless Fidelity and great coffee. It may seem like a dream but modernizing today’s and future libraries can only make them more attractive to the future generations. 

Just to add my two cents: Libraries across the country are changing for the better. They are implementing technology and adding zones for lounging, teaching, and talking. Students are realizing that books are something they want around them in a library (I mean who wouldn’t).

References:

Leferink, S. (2019, June 04). To keep people happy … keep some books. Retrieved August 29, 2020, from https://blog.oclc.org/next/to-keep-people-happy-keep-some-books/

Mathews, B. (2010, June 21). Unquiet Library Has High-Schoolers Geeked. Retrieved August 29, 2020, from https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2010/06/21/unquiet-library-has-high-schoolers-geeked/

Schmidt, A. (2014, May 6). Exploring Context: The User Experience. Retrieved August 29, 2020, from https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=exploring-context-the-user-experience

Visser, J. (2014, April 11). DOK Delft, inspirational library concepts. Retrieved August 29, 2020, from http://themuseumofthefuture.com/2011/01/22/dok-delft-inspirational-library-concepts/

Standard

6 thoughts on “The New Hyperlinked Library Model?

  1. Kay Wolverton Ito says:

    Regarding the request from New Amsterdam University students to retain physical books because of the comfort of a familiar format:

    Casey and Savastinuk (2007) put it well when they describe “brand book” as what library users associate with the concept of a library and how the move to Library 2.0 is about a reasonable balance between the familiar and the new. The trick is to keep current customers satisfied (which often means retaining books) while simultaneously reaching out to new audiences (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007). While libraries “will always embrace brand book,” (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007, p. 8), it shouldn’t be the only brand.

  2. Yay for library showers. It would be interesting to see a prototype. Perhaps an adjacent part of the library building could have showers, bike parking, etc…. In a related area – I have seen some interesting things around restroom design especially in the Scandinavian countries. Safety, cleanliness and accessibility are all included.

  3. Jennie Tobler-Gaston says:

    I really enjoyed reading your post. I think libraries as a physical space will always be needed. Libraries help provide a bridge to those suffering the digital divide. I also think it is a safe space for many people – a place they can go without any requirements being thrust upon them. However, I think we need to also look beyond our physical space and explore how we reach patrons or potential patrons not coming to physical space. How do we serve them and meet their needs. I think the library will always have a “home base” that everything comes back to, but will expand into the community to meet their needs.

    • Stratos Xanthus says:

      Ahh you do bring up a good point. I recommend reading my Context Book Review. I picked a novel that goes over the importance of using technology in the twenty-first century and I write about how that will affect libraries in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *