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).
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/