A great many excellent publications are available to persons who manage planning for library space and for the numerous consulting, construction, and other activities that yield new or renovated libraries. Most publications address the needs of those who already know “what” they want to do and need help in understanding “how” to achieve their purposes.
The following list, by contrast, provides some initial guidance to those who are primarily concerned with “what” their library project should be, especially in relation to the fundamental learning and teaching missions of the institution their library serves. The list is meant to be suggestive and is by no means exhaustive.
Bazillion, Richard J., and Connie L. Braun. 2001. Academic Libraries
as High-Tech Gateways: A Guide to Design & Space Decisions. 2nd ed. Chicago: American Library Association.
Bazillion and Braun provide an excellent bibliography and, in chapter 1, a good survey of recent thinking about the forces of change in librarianship. Chapter 6, “The Library as a Teaching and Learning Instrument” (pp. 171-199), focuses primarily on the library as a teaching place and does not address student learning behaviors as a possible driver of library design. The authors concentrate on the library as a home for technology and instruction in the use of technology, including such spaces as electronic classrooms, information arcades, and academic technology centers.
Bechtel, Joan M. 1986. Conversation, A New Paradigm for Librarianship? College & Research Libraries 47: 219-224.
See the Bruffee entry, below, for an account of this article.
Brand, Steward. 1994. How Buildings Learn: What Happens after They’re Built. New York: Viking.
This is a deservedly well-known account of how those who occupy
buildings reshape the purposes of those buildings over time and of how architectural design can facilitate or hinder the ineluctable
process of change. See also Wiley, below.
Bruffee, Kenneth A. 1999. Collaborative Learning: Higher Education,
Interdependence, and the Authority of Knowledge. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Bruffee describes a foundational or cognitive view of knowledge as believing that “knowledge is an entity formalized by the individual
mind and verified against reality” (p. 180)-that knowledge in this sense is founded in external reality as engaged by individual intelligence.
Foundational views of knowledge underscore the authority of the teacher. By contrast, nonfoundational views hold that knowledge is constructed by people acting within communities.
Knowledge is a community project. People construct knowledge working together in groups, interdependently. All knowledge is therefore the ‘property’ not of an individual person but of some community or other, the community that constructed it in the language spoken by the members of that community (pp. 294-295).
We learned a lot from reading, of course. That was because reading is one way to join new communities, the ones represented by the authors of the texts we read. By reading, we acquire fluency in the language of the text and make it our own. Library stacks, from this perspective, are not a repository; they are a crowd (pp. 8-9).
Involving local libraries and librarians as part of a “distance learning” system can . . . [turn the enterprise into something like the experience of residential college and university education] only if the program revises the ubiquitous foundational understanding of what learning is and what libraries are. . . . Joan M. Bechtel has argued the position, for example, that the most appropriate “new paradigm for librarianship” is “conversation.” The traditional views of a library as a “warehouse for storing books” and as “the heart of the college and university” or “the center of our intellectual life,” Bechtel says, are equally archaic. Storing books, she points out, is only one of many services libraries provide these days. The heart of the intellectual life of a college and university is more likely to be, among other places, in “a group of friends who meet regularly for study and discussion.” Instead, Bechtel says, what libraries do is “collect people and ideas” and “facilitate conversation among people. . . . The preservation of crucial conversations [as recorded in the published record], the first task of libraries, [serves] not only to preserve the record, but more important to ensure the continuation of significant conversations already in progress” (p. 130).
Bruffee observes that libraries are beginning to reflect this purpose in the provision of what he calls “conversation rooms,” more commonly called group study spaces. Notably, Bruffee recognizes the importance of learning spaces and includes a brief appendix, Architecture and Classroom Design (pp. 259-261).
Buildings, Books, and Bytes: Libraries and Communities in the Digital
Age. A Report on the Public’s Opinion of Library Leaders’ Vision for the Future. 1996. Washington, D.C.: Benton Foundation.
The report is primarily concerned with public libraries and public
support for them. In summarizing an opinion survey, the report says, “Americans value maintaining and building public library buildings. Americans support using library budgets to preserve and erect library buildings, placing this activity third in the poll’s rankings of library services they would spend money on. A total of 65 percent felt this was ‘very important’; almost identical numbers, 62 percent, though this should be a library priority. . . . Clearly, the American public agrees wholeheartedly with the library leaders that the American public library building is an intrinsic part of the library’s identity. It is important to note that support for this function comes only after purchasing new books and computers and computer access, and that all three categories polled extremely well among all groups [surveyed]” (p. 26).
Crosbie, Michael J., and Damon D. Hickey. 2001. When Change Is Set in Stone: An Analysis of Seven Academic Libraries Designed by Perry Dean Rogers & Partners: Architects. Chicago: American Library Association.
Crosbie is an architectural critic who has followed the work of Perry Dean Rogers for some years. Hickey is the head librarian at The College of Wooster, where he worked with Perry Dean Rogers on two major projects. The libraries reviewed in this book are the Wyndham Robertson Library, Hollis University; the Health Sciences and Human Services Library, University of Maryland-Baltimore (UMB); the Flo K. Gault Library for Independent Study, The College of Wooster; the Waidner Library, Dickson College; the Morgan Library, Colorado State University; the Timken Science Library, The College of Wooster; and the John Deaver Drinko Library, Marshall University. The Health Sciences Library at UMB and the Drinko Library are reviewed especially favorably, though all seven libraries are praised.
Crosbie and Hickey comment from somewhat different perspectives
on each of the seven libraries, identifying what is particularly successful about each building and giving some account of the design
choices made by the architects. Except for the account of the Drinko Library, they give almost no attention to any academically driven planning that shaped the conception of these buildings.
Hickey writes a useful section (pp. 8-18) identifying nine factors that powerfully influenced the libraries reviewed in this book. See also Foote, below.
Demas, Sam, and Jeffrey A. Scherer. 2002. Esprit de Place: Maintaining
and Designing Library Buildings to Provide Transcendent Spaces. American Libraries 33 (April): 65-68.
The authors describe how libraries, both public and academic, are now being designed to respond to the wish that they be community spaces and affirm community values.
Dowler, L., ed. 1997. Gateways to Knowledge: The Role of Academic Libraries in Teaching, Learning, and Research. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
The essays of this book emphasize teaching and research more than learning. Two essays are particularly good. One is by Richard A. Lanham, “A Computer-Based Harvard Red Book: General Education in the Digital Age” (pp. 151-168). This essay takes the form of an imaginary memo from a university president to a faculty committee, charging it with reconceiving general education in the digital age, just as Harvard’s President Conant appointed a committee in 1943 to ponder the objectives of a general education in a free society. The essay asks what kind of literacy students will need; considers what happens to the textbook and the classroom and what becomes of the academic major; and argues for the possibility of a central role for libraries in digitally based education. Lanham thinks with insight and writes with wit.
The other essay, entitled “Postscript” (pp. 215-228), is by Dowler. Drawing on the other essays in this volume, Dowler argues that “teaching is the core of the gateway library” (p. 219) and focuses on how students learn. “The challenge for libraries, then, is to respond to these changes in teaching and learning and create an environment for problem solving and student-centered learning” (p. 221).
James Wilkinson, in “Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier: Technology, Libraries, and Learning” (pp. 181-196), argues that “as library functions broaden with the growth of technology, librarians are expanding their own role within colleges and universities and asserting the need and desirability to act as teachers as well as custodians of information. . . . The concept of the ‘librarian as teacher’ acknowledges that a great deal of learning occurs in libraries (as well as in the classroom) as a result of these student research activities and that libraries are in a position to facilitate that learning. The emerging importance of technology within the library precincts also leads to the need for experts who can initiate library users into the arcane imperii of digital software. Just as teaching hospitals are attached to university medical schools, we can establish teaching libraries where students learn about research firsthand. . . . . But there is more. Librarians have sought to engage themselves more actively in teaching at the very time that teaching and learning themselves are being reexamined and redefined within the university as a whole. . . . In the old model, teachers actively dispensed knowledge and students passively benefited from their wisdom, but the new model increasingly emphasizes partnership, problem solving, and active learning. . . . Librarians themselves now aspire to expand their traditional reference functions to include an active partnership in teaching. And teaching itself, which both libraries and technology attempt to serve, is being reconceived as a complex process of learner-centered teaching and active learning that is guided by a teacher who is no longer a distant authority but a concerned and committed guide” (pp. 182-184). Wilkinson then asks, “Does all this mean that the library as a physical space has become obsolete? I would argue that, on the contrary, its usefulness as a teaching space remains unimpaired and may even increase. A great deal of teaching still requires direct contact to be truly effective. In general, students continue to express a wish for more interaction with faculty and with one another and not less. Just as some of the research formerly done in libraries is now done in faculty offices or student dorm rooms-with a personal computer serving as a study carrel-so can some of the group learning that formerly occurred exclusively in classrooms now take place in libraries. . . . Here it seems to me that libraries could usefully supplement or even take the lead in providing a learning environment where information technology is made available with some thought to how learning really occurs” (pp. 193-194).
Foote, Steven M. 1995. An Architect’s Perspective on Contemporary Academic Library Design. Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 83: 351-356.
Foote, who is president of Perry Dean Rogers, comments on the effort among library designers to find “the symbolic meaning of technology” and on the drag of traditional thinking in that effort (p. 351). See also Crosbie and Hickey, above.
Hardesty, Larry. 1995. Faculty Culture and Bibliographic Instruction:
An Exploratory Essay. Library Trends 44: 339-367.
Hardesty notes that academic institutions invest substantially in their libraries, which, however, are significantly underutilized by students. He further notes that most faculty members will confirm the importance of effective use of the library, but few are willing to devote class time to teaching library skills to students. Hardesty explains these apparent contradictions in terms of a pervasive culture among faculty that does not value librarians as teachers and undervalues the teaching of library skills compared to substantive disciplinary knowledge.
Hartman, Craig, John Parman, and Cheryl Paker. 1996. The Architect’s
Point of View. In The National Electronic Library: A Guide to the Future for Library Managers, edited by Gary M. Pitkin. Wesport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.
The authors are architects in the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill. They argue for the community functions of libraries, noting for instance that at a national accounting firm heavily invested in telecommuting, “the library had become the one remaining place where people could meet informally to share their experience and gain a sense of each other as colleagues” (p. 105). They affirm “the electronic revolution only makes human encounter, which is the real basis of community, more valuable and necessary- not less so. As communities that we now take for granted, like the workplace, lose their status as a given in our society, others-the library among them-will grow in importance” (p. 122).
Hawkins, Brian L., and Patricia Battin. 1998. The Mirage of Continuity.
Reconfiguring Academic Information Resources for the 21st Century. Washington, D.C.: Council on Library and Information Resources and the Association of American Universities.
This highly regarded book argues the case for interpolative change in library planning. It is not particularly concerned with library space.
Heaton, Shelley, and Kenneth E. Marks. 2000. Planning the UNLV Lied Library. Library Hi Tech 20: 12-20.
Heaton and Marks provide a case study of a new library building, giving much attention to the intricacies of planning for a publicly financed library but little account of the academic (as distinguished from the service) objectives of the Lied Library. This issue of Library Hi Tech is entirely devoted to various aspects of the planning and construction of the Lied Library at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.
Holmes-Wong, Deborah, Marianne Afifi, and Shahla Bahavar. 1997. If You Build It, They Will Come: Spaces, Values, and Services in the Digital Era. Library Administration & Management 11: 74-85.
This is an excellent account of the planning and success with readers of the pioneering Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Library at the University of Southern California. See also the article by Victoria Steele noted in the entry for Sue Taylor, ed., Building Libraries for the Information Age.
Huang, Jeffrey. 2001. Future Space: A New Blueprint for Business Architecture. Harvard Business Review (April): 149-158.
Huang regards teaching and learning spaces as a species of “business architecture.” He reports on the effort at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Center for Design Informatics to develop guidelines for architectural design that bring physical and virtual space strongly together. “Although we have been designing buildings for thousands of years and Web spaces for about a decade, we have almost no experience merging the two” (p. 150).
Jones, William G. 1999. Library Buildings: Renovation and Reconfiguration. SPEC Kit 244. Washington, D.C.: Association of Research Libraries.
Jones includes reports about renovation projects at Emory, Kansas
State, Yale, Columbia, and West Virginia Universities, and from the University of Washington and the University of Chicago, along with short commentaries from the architects Aaron Cohen and Geoffrey Freeman. Tellingly, Jones’s checklist for project preparedness assumes that the rationale for construction is clear and compelling; the checklist asks only about community support for the project.
Library Builders. 1997. London: Academy Editions.
This is a coffee-table book, much concerned with library buildings as sculptural attempts to capture the “idea” of libraries in general or of a particular library project. While there are a number of projects from the United States represented in the book, most are European projects.
Michael Brawne asserts in his introduction that “two primary functions occur in libraries: the storage of the information source-books, journals, maps, recorded music, CD-ROMs, and so on-and the opportunity of having access to that information by individuals at a time of their choosing. That this is a matter of a direct and individual relationship is crucial, and of primary design significance. . . . The library-and the museum-allows for individuals to decide when they need access and equally to determine what information they want” (p. 6). “We should perhaps also remember that we are social animals. Although the book or the computer provides us as individuals with information, that search may still at times be a social act. We may want to be where the pursuit of knowledge is celebrated” (p. 9).
In a chapter entitled “Interiors in Detail” (pp. 216-219), Brawne argues that “it would seem that it is difficult to establish a typology of libraries at the level of the plan and section of the whole building. What makes a building a library is a set of medium- to small-scale decisions which principally involve furniture” (p. 216).
Library Buildings Consultant List 1999. 1999. Compiled by Jonathan
LeBreton for the Library Administration and Management Association. Chicago: American Library Association.
This biennial compilation includes a bibliography (pp. viii-xi) about library design and the use of consultants.
Consultants are invited to identify the types of service (e.g., “feasibility studies,” “space planning”) they provide by checking against a list of 25 possible services (p. 96). The list focuses on a set of “how-to” issues and does not include items regarding the identification of problems that might prompt a project or assistance in thinking about the mission of a library and how that mission might be expressed architecturally.
Leighton, Philip D., and David C. Weber. 1999. Planning Academic and Research Library Buildings. 3rd ed.; 1st ed. by Keyes D. Metcalf. Chicago: American Library Association.
Leighton and Weber provide the one essential guide to planning academic libraries. See the introduction of this report for a further account of this book.
Light, Richard J. 2001. Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Light investigates how and with whom students learn, but not where they learn. One might argue that the built environment for learning must be carefully considered in the effort to help students make the most of college.
Matier, Michael, and C. Clinton Sidle. 1993. What Size Libraries for 2010? Planning for Higher Education 21 (Summer): 9-15.
Matier and Sidle approach library planning as an exercise in housing readers and books and conclude that the outlook for digital information is so uncertain as to make changes in conventional space allocation formulas imprudent.
McCarthy, Richard C. 1999. Designing Better Libraries: Selecting & Working with Building Professionals. 2nd ed. Fort Atkinson, Wisc.: Highsmith Press.
This is a typical “how-to,” rather than a “what-to,” book.
Michaels, David L. 1994. Charette: Design in a Nutshell. Library Administration & Management 8: 135-138.
Michaels describes the charette as an intensely collaborative and highly productive method of architectural design.
Rettig, James R. 1998. Designing Scenarios to Design Effective Buildings. In Recreating the Academic Library: Breaking Virtual Ground, edited by Cheryl LaGuardia. New York: Neal-Schuman.
Rettig urges that less emphasis be given to housing collections and more to accommodating reader behaviors. “Because the ways in which the members of a university community seek, identify, and use information change with increasing rapidity and because the traditional processes for planning academic library buildings have proved inadequate for incorporating long-term flexibility, the premises and processes of building planning need to be rethought” (p. 88). This article views library users primarily as people who manipulate information, not as learners.
Schneekloth, Lynda H., and Ellen Bruce Keable. 1991. Evaluation of Library Facilities: A Tool for Managing Change. Occasional Papers, no. 191 (November). University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science.
Schneekloth and Keable describe postoccupancy evaluation as a tool used at the Carol M. Newman Library of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and at an unnamed special library serving a financial company.
Stage, Frances K., Patricia A. Muller, Jillian Kinzie, and Ada Simmons. 1998. Creating Learning-Centered Classrooms: What Does Learning Theory Have to Say? ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, 26(4). Washington, D.C.: Graduate School of Education and Human Development, George Washington University.
The authors survey six learning theories and their application to higher education teaching and learning. A table (p. 75) indicates the authors’ belief that only three of these theories (attribution, self-efficacy, and learning styles) are backed with extensive research to verify or validate the theory. For the most part, there is only moderate or limited research on the application of these theories to college students, the modification of teaching methods, or the effects of the application of such theories to teaching.
Stein, Karen D. 1998. Project Diary: Henry Myerberg’s First Building as a Solo Architect, the Rhys Carpenter Library, Provides Bryn Mawr College with a Popular New Campus Center. Architectural Record 186 (February): 82-91.
Stein’s article serves as a reminder and a good case study of the stop-and-start character of many library projects and of the way project scope, design, technical challenges, and cost can change over the long periods of time normally required to bring projects to completion.
Sutton, Lynn Sorensen. 2000. Imagining Learning Spaces at Wayne State University’s New David Adamany Undergraduate Library. Research Strategies 17: 139-146.
Sutton describes the Adamany Library as “intentionally not designed to be collection-intensive” (p. 140), but to be “dedicated solely to student success” (p. 139).
Taylor Sue, ed. 1995. Building Libraries for the Information Age. Based on the proceedings of a Symposium on the Future of Higher Education Libraries, King’s Manor, York, April 11–12, 1994. York: Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies, University of York.
The symposium was prompted by the Follett report on the future of academic libraries in the United Kingdom. The Higher Education Funding Councils Libraries Review Group was charged in 1992 and reported in December 1993. Sir Brian Follett chaired the review group.
In effect, the Follett report constituted a nationwide academic planning effort for libraries, tied to the fiscal responsibilities of the then-new Higher Education funding Councils.
According to Lynne J. Brindley’s introduction to the volume (pp. 1-4), the Follett report was written in response to “the mass expansion of student numbers” and the perceived failure of libraries “in their fundamental task of providing enough books and enough seats for students” (p. 1).
The report “endorsed the view that there needs to be what it calls a sea-change in the way institutions plan and provide for the information needs of those working within them. The traditional view of the library as the single repository of the information needed for teaching, learning and research is woefully inadequate. . . . Follett endorsed the move from holdings to access, and called on universities to take a strategic view of information provision, and for information and its management to be fully integrated with academic and institutional planning.
“On support for teaching and learning, on how to make it better for the students, the Report offers no panaceas. Most importantly in this context, a major, funded space initiative was proposed to build, remodel and adapt space for library use, with a particular focus on service delivery and innovation using technology, rather than simply providing more space to accumulate materials. . . .
“On the research side the strategy argued for was one of national and regional collaboration, involving specialisation and cooperation. . . .
“The Information Technology group focused particularly on how developments in IT might be harnessed to underpin change across the whole academic library sector” (pp. 1-2).
This book publishes brief papers given at the symposium, including a few general commentaries and several case studies of new library buildings. The papers include Victoria Steele, “Producing Value: A North American Perspective on the Future of Higher Education Libraries” (pp. 77-80), commenting on the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Library at the University of Southern California.
Andrew McDonald provides an account of some of the building activity that followed the Follett report in “Planning Academic Library Buildings for a New Age: Some Principles, Trends, and Developments in the United Kingdom,” Advances in Librarianship 24 (2000), 51-79.
Van Slyck, Abigail A. 2000. Libraries: A New Chapter. Architectural Record 188 (October): 151-153.
Writing in the “Building Types Study 790,” on academic and public libraries, Van Slyck observes that “the return of the monumental reading room is part of the growing acknowledgement that the library is as much about social interaction and intellectual exchange as the storage of books and the delivery of discrete packages of information into the hands of an individual reader.” She notes there is nothing new in this idea, as libraries built in the nineteenth-century and earlier often affirmed quite strongly the social character of knowledge.
Webb, T. D., ed. 2000. Building Libraries for the 21st Century: The Shape of Information. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland.
Webb collects a set of essays mostly about individual new library buildings-national, academic, and public. The following are notable among these essays:
Charlene Hurt, “The Johnson Center Library at George Mason University” (pp. 83-104) presents a model case study, giving ample attention to what motivated the new library and placing it strongly in campus-wide thinking about space for learning. In a separate article, “Building Libraries in the Virtual Age,” published in 1997 (College & Research Libraries News 58 [February]: 75-76, 91), Hurt observes that “experiential learning takes place anywhere, any time, in a variety of environments, often social. . . . The popularity of bookstores that serve drinks and food demonstrates a preference for a more casual, social environment [in libraries], as does our students’ preference for seating in highly visible areas” (pp. 75-76).
John Ober’s essay, Library Services at California State University, Monterey Bay (pp. 122-127), is an interesting case study of an entire institution created at the former Fort Ord in less than two years. Ober reports that all planning, including that for the library, was strongly influenced by the mission statement of the new Monterey Bay campus, which is reproduced in this article. Most interestingly, California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) Chancellor Barry Munitz felt the new campus did not require a traditional library. Dr. James May was appointed dean of Science, Technology and Information Resources and “he spent much of his energy convincing administrators, including Chancellor Munitz, that a physical library with a collection of print materials was necessary at CSUMB; the appropriate use of technology to provide access to undergraduate level resources could and should be a cornerstone of library services but would not be sufficient in and of itself” (p. 126). Ober describes the wide press coverage that the ensuing debate about the library received, and its outcome in the decision to build a library with a relatively small core collection of print materials.
Another interesting essay is “The Academic Library in the 21st Century: Partner in Education,” by Geoffrey T. Freeman, (pp. 168-175). Written by an architect, the essay argues ably for the educational function of libraries.
Wiley, Peter Booth. 1997. Beyond the Blueprint. Library Journal, 122 (Feb. 15): 110-113.
Wiley describes several kinds of postoccupancy adjustments made in large city public libraries as a result of experience with the buildings after they were open.