Notes from the edge…


I don’t feel good.  Achy.  Feverish.  Coughing.  I think I’m spreading the flu…   yippie.

I do, however, have a lot of work to do and so I am here, door closed, trying to limit contact with the rest of you.  I have a 3pm phone interview with Elisabeth Goldstein from Mithun to chat about the library in the Campus Master Plan and if I have to leave I will forward my work phone to my cell phone so that I can do the phone interview.

But before I do all that, I just want to take a few minutes to jot down some of the things I found interesting about yesterday’s one-on-one interview debrief.

First, the meeting went a little long, but there was such a wealth of data there that just keeping it near two hours was a minor miracle.  Credit for that miracle goes to Renee and the Library Staff who followed direction expertly.

The second thing, and perhaps most pressing, were comments about space configuration.  While there were a small number of our constituents who want to radically change the library (make it a noisy place with multiple services) the overwhelming majority want a traditional library.

What does that mean?

  1. Quiet spaces — a lot more of them.  This sentiment was heard from nearly every angle:disability support services to individual faculty.
  2. Browsable stacks — Specifically the journals collection but all collections were mentioned.  Where once that collection had space to grow on its own dedicated display shelves it now is shelved with no display racks at all and by call number.  Not browser friendly but it was a necessity to make room for more group study space as students clamored for that.
  3. Speaking of group study — they want more of that and make it collaborative too.. and with lots of cool technology!
  4. The people really love the video collection.  I see this as a good thing, because I’m hoping that the vast majority of our titles will be available for download in 10 years.
  5. The library as the heart of the campus.  People love the fact that the library is at the heart of the campus.
  6. The library as beautiful space or sacred space.  We heard that a few times.
  7. Several people made an impassioned argument to keep the library accessible.  This means new buildings must be easy for people with physical limitations to get into and go back and forth between.
  8. And, of course, the big one… a sky bridge.  One person even went so far as to say “if there’s no bridge, you might as well not build it.”

Those are some of the main themes as I saw them.  As people say on the internet ymmv (your mileage may vary) and Anna has assured me that some notes of the meeting will be going up somewhere so you can get a more objective view of this data.

OK.  I think I’ve done all the stuff that I really needed to do here today, so I’m going home and spare the library this virus I got.  I’ll forward my work phone to my cell phone so if you need me just dial my work number.

Until tomorrow.

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