Notes on "The Location-Less Library"

The Location-less Library: Examining the Value of the Library Building
Melissa Gold, Science Librarian, Millersville University, Millersville, PA Krista Higham, Access Services Librarian, Millersville University, Millersville, PA

  • During their library’s renovation, they moved into a temporary location.
  • The majority of their print collection was moved to storage.
  • How were students impacted by the renovation? Can libraries meet their mission without a building?
  • This library still has not yet moved into the renovated building; they will be by Fall 2013.
  • In the temporary location, there was no reference desk. Librarians were available by appointment & virtual reference.
  • They shared the timeline & progress of the library’s renovation via a new blog: http://blogs.millersville.edu/newlibrary/about/.
  • Pictures of the renovation: https://www.facebook.com/MULibrary/photos_stream
  • Each method the library used aligned with one or more of the ACRL Standards for Higher Education (http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/standardslibraries).
  • They took head counts twice per day.
  • They kept statistics on the percentage of seats & computers that were being used throughout the day.
  • They also conducted random surveys during the day:
    • Why are you here? (studying, meeting friends, group work, sleep, etc.)
    • Why did you choose this particular space in the library? (outlets, computers, quiet, near material needed, etc.)
  • They found out that students seemed to use the library more as quiet space than for the services & resources
  • Selected bibliography:
    • Harold B. Shill and Shawn Tonner, "Does the Building Still Matter? Usage Patterns in New, Expanded, and Renovated Libraries, 1995-2002," College and Research Libraries 65, (2004): 123-151.
    • Jeffrey T. Gayton, "Academic Libraries: “Social" or "Communal?" The Nature and Future of Academic Libraries," Journal of Academic Librarianship 34, no. 1 (January 2008): 60-66.
    • Scott Bennett, "Libraries and Learning: A History of Paradigm Change," portal: Libraries and the Academy 9, no. 2 (April 2009): 181-197.
    • Sam Demas, “From the Ashes of Alexandria: What’s Happening in the College Library?,” in The Library as Place: Rethinking Roles, Rethinking Space, (Washington DC: Council on Library and Information Resources, 2005), 25-40.
  • PDF report available at http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/conferences/confsandpreconfs/2013/papers/GoldHigham_Locationless.pdf.

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