I’ve been following “In the Library with a Lead Pipe “(http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/) for awhile now; every post is worth at least mulling over. The newest post recounts the renovation process underway at two University libraries. What I find interesting is not the physical renovation of space ( a small lie, I do find that intresting, but it’s another topic); rather it’s the fact that so many of their renovations are going to be in service. They’re going to try and change the old “Library as warehouse for books ” model that, for better or worse has defined the library brand for so long. Using several of the “techs” that we’ve highlighted in this class, (Facebook, Twitter, and Foursqure, etc.) to let student know where the librarian is located that day. To paraphrase the old saying, “when the student is ready, the librarian appears.”
The article goes on to mention that it’s time for “as much, if not more, effort to be placed in in our digital assets than our physical spaces.” Which I find worrisome for several reasons. One is an ill defined, too broad definitons of “digital”. Second, while they seem to be adopting much of the technology associated with Library 2.0, there is no mention of them adopting it’s collaborative philosohies. Nowhere in the article does it discuss what can be accomplished when libraries and users work together. Given the purpose of this article is to provide an overview of two libraries in transition, this is perhaps understandable. Yet still it feels like a missed opportunity. What I’ve come to belive is that Collaboration = Sustainability; it is perhaps no coincidence that at the beginning of the article, a faculty member is reported questioning the relevancy of even having a library. I applaud the authors for asking their profession to ask a big question; whaat would we do if we had a year without a building? But a relationhsip with users should be built on giving and recieving; collaboration with community means goving up some control, and none of this was addressed in the article.