Mocha Lattes &
"These days, more
and more students are entering libraries not
through turnstiles but through phone lines and fiber optic cables...
Some librarians are fighting back--with plush chairs, double-mocha
lattes... Colleges have to do something to attract
students back to the physical structures.."
Library: As Students Work online, Reading Rooms empty out--leading some
campuses to add Starbuck" The Chronicle of
Higher Education, November 16, 2001
The buzz word in academe in the last few years has been learning outcomes and
methods to assess them. College administrations as well as
regional higher education accrediting bodies and government agencies are
asking for outcomes assessment indicators--library ones in our case.
Certainly, turnstile counts, especially those raised as result of coffee and
donut stands inside the library, are no indicators of successful library
contributions to learning. Furthermore, to compare such "originalities" with marketing
arrangements at large chain bookstores, as some library managers have
proposed, is very flawed thinking. The
respective patron populations are very distinct. When I walk into a
bookstore I do so because I want to; most students visit the
college library because they have to. The CHE's article mentioned above reports that traffic at Texas Christian University library doubled
after the installation of a $40,000 coffee shop.... During the same time,
book circulation dropped by 30%!
consistent/comparable/independent digital resource usage statistics--Turnstile and book circulation statistics are clearly defined and easily
captured. Not so with electronic resources usage. There is confusion
about what to measure in the networked environment. Definitions are not
standardized and are differentially reported by database vendors--number
of searches, logins, views, retrievals, connect time, turnaways,
abstracts, texts only, texts and graphics, citations, page images, & so
forth. Cynics would also contend that vendors-maintained statistics
are not independent or entirely unbiased metrics.
There are have been good
attempts at standardization of e-metric, though, such as those undertaken by the
Coalition of Library Consortia. Research libraries are trying to
identify ways to measure 'e-Metrics outcomes'. For current activities
regarding the measurement of the use and value of digital resources, see ARL
Statistics and Measurement Program,
technologies, market forces, and continually evolving needs and expectations
of information consumers are re-shaping our thinking about the allocation
and use of library space. While incurable nostalgics continue to suggest building
concepts of yesteryear as viable concepts, the pragmatics and visionary
among us have adapted to the new forces and recognized the many
opportunities for symbiotic relationships between library and non-library
activities within the physical structure. Thus, while they continue to
provide plenty of room for traditional resources, new library buildings
contain new spaces that are responsive to current and envisioned campus needs: Collaborative
learning/problem-based learning rooms; digital media production laboratory; information commons; consultation services; smart classrooms; video-conferencing
facilities; centers for excellence in teaching/learning to assist faculty in
technology-enhanced instructional methods. Regretfully, these
are the very new spaces that the 900-page 1999 edition Planning Academic
& Research Libraries casually discourages as "non-library facilities.
Never mind what this library bible says, "follow your convictions,"
wrote the French paysagist Corot, "when you follow someone, you're
How Did Howard
University Get to Build Not One,
But Two New Libraries at the Same Time?
Howard University's leadership
is strongly committed to providing the best
opportunities for life-long learning, leadership and service.
Accreditation review reports have urged the University to correct severe
deficiencies in library and information technologies serving the health
science complex (College of Medicine, College of Dentistry, School of
Pharmacy, Nursing & Allied Health, and the Hospital) and the School of Law.
is committed to greater financial independence: turning off
prospective high-caliber students and faculty because of poor
support facilities means missed opportunities for revenue.
University wanted to resolve library as well as academic needs through
a judicious use of space. Thus the Steering Committee for the new building
included representatives from every academic and clinical department in
the health sciences complex, library management, students, representatives from the community,
as well as experts from the National Institutes of Health and private
faculty, the benefits of the new building and its configuration of new
spaces for research and collaborative learning far outweighed the loss of a convenient parking space.
immediate residential community was convinced of the dramatic impact that the development
of the parking lot will have on the quality of the environment
community stood to gain substantially from the new facility's health
information and awareness outreach programs, which the University
considers as part of its leadership mission in the community.
View LSHSL images
Set A, Set
and the following articles:
Library Starts New Chapter for Howard University: Building Seen as Part of School's
By Amy Argetsinger,
Two for the Books:
New Libraries Are Studies in Excellence
By Benjamin Forgey, Washington Post