Design of libraries buildings – Part 2

[continued from Part 1]


4. For Bennett (2008), the difference between information commons and learning commons is a matter of aspiration. This author states the following: … this is much more than a semantic exercise. It involves, rather, focusing clearly on the first questions in space design and committing to a collaborative effort to design a space that is deeply responsive to an institutional mission. These are hard to ing, but aiming at anything less will produce commons that, while almost surely useful, will likely fall short of what our institutions need and our students deserve. Although the information commons concept integrates the new information technologies, this model continues to focus on the library and information resources. Many scholars, including Bennett (2004), argue that the transition from information commons to learning commons is the effect of changes that have been made in academic libraries; It is a movement from the culture of teaching towards the culture of learning. Instead of considering the passive transfer of information, learning commons focus on making learners more independent and giving more attention to experience, skill development, attitudes and knowledge. We recognize the validity and relevance of this approach and fully agree with the ideas underlying it. However, we point out that it is the same dog with different collar. This modality is not essentially new. It proposes the same principle or foundation: the integration of information resources into the learning process and the institutional goals that were promoted in the 1970s and 1980s during our training as an educator and librarian. This is still an aspiration, since, with the exception of some very meritorious cases, the banking teaching model is generally maintained. For the concept of learning commons to be a reality, it is necessary to generate substantial changes in educational institutions that promote a true constructivist teaching focused on the student and on learning. That is the core and urgent. Under that model and circumstances, of course, library buildings centered on people will play a determining role.

5. 2.0 libraries require 2.0 buildings A different library requires a different building. As discussed extensively in the professional literature, the first generation of the Web, based on the search and retrieval of information, was replaced by a second generation of the Web based on user communications, social tools and networks that foster interaction between People, collaboration and the agile exchange of information. In 2004, Tim O’Reilly called this current as Web 2.0. Social interaction tools and services such as blogs, wikis, Facebook, My Space, YouTube, iTunes and Slideshare promote interpersonal interaction, collaborative work and content dissemination. This new modality of the Web is oriented to the participation; Not to use. Users share digital objects: documents, videos, photos, audio and links. It harnesses the collective intelligence and the users go from being simple consumers to elaborators and managers of contents. The application and adaptation of the technologies, tools and philosophy of Web 2.0 in the library is known as Library 2.0. This makes it possible to get closer to users, remove barriers of time and space and promote an active participation by them. Social Web tools help the library establish a relationship and continuous communication with the community it serves and to promote and disseminate information resources and services. In addition, it creates spaces for users and librarians to interact, think, value, ask and respond. The development of libraries 2.0, self-service and all the application of these new technologies in libraries should be considered in the design, remodeling and construction of buildings, as they impact both the infrastructure and the library spaces and services.

6. Libraries are a meeting place As we have previously proposed, the library should be a place of social cohesion and a meeting place, so it must have secure facilities that allow an extended time and that encourage interaction And socialization between people. The library should have areas for distraction and rest, gardens, areas for sale and ingestion of Trade in materials supplementary to the study, as well as Areas where people can meet, talk and share. In The academic and specialized libraries in which its users Develop research or work that requires them to remain Many hours, there must be areas for rest and recreation And solace.  The library should function as a cultural center, for Which must have facilities to carry out Activities such as exhibitions, film screenings, forums And conferences.  In other words, we are suggesting that libraries Should be less restrictive. Contrary to the vision of decades ago, Where the silence and the printed resources prevailed in the libraries, Social interaction predominates in libraries today.

7. Libraries are centers of digital inclusion  Today’s library buildings should be centered on People and their needs, must respond to the role of the Library as a center of social inclusion that contributes to The digital divide, that is, the inequality between those who have access To new information technologies. Libraries should Provide equitable access to information and technological resources To all the people in the community it serves, and give attention to Priority to those who are at greater risk of exclusion. Some Of these sectors are people with economic constraints, People with physical disabilities, the elderly, the unemployed, Those who drop out of school, juvenile offenders, mothers Single women and immigrants (Felicié 2006).  The library has the undisputed responsibility of Reduce technological inequality. Must educate people Respect to the proper use of technological resources and motivate them To make use of them and be an active part of the new social order Technologies play a key role in Personal and collective development.  Library buildings should be suitable for this type of population; Must have sufficient technological resources, connection High speed internet, wireless and furniture Ergonomic to comfortably serve its users. The one who Person has to queue or wait an hour to use a Computer or unstable Internet connection is not appropriate Nor fair. One of the Tuxtla-Gutierrez public libraries in Chiapas, possibly the poorest state in Mexico, puts the Community provision more than 100 modern computers With high speed internet connection. Your online catalog is In Spanish and in two indigenous languages. This is an indicator Of digital inclusion and social parity.  The construction and remodeling of buildings has to Consider the needs of people with physical disabilities And special capabilities. It has the responsibility of having Assistive technology and the necessary resources for this population to Do not stay out of the new information technologies And communication. The construction of library buildings As digital inclusion entities that focus on the needs of People and reduce technological inequality is an issue Indisputable of social justice.

Jeremy Lee
Jeremy Lee
Writer, Blogger and tech journalist