There are many theories and concepts currently floated about the future library model and what this might provide. One of the most popular is simple – that the library must shift from a place of knowledge consumption to one of production. At the extreme, this would be like a marketplace or workshop where people can go to meet, learn from others and access technology and services in a location that embraces new tech and even entertainment.
In schools, there is a movement towards bringing together local community services such as GP & dental practices, council offices, sports centres etc. to share space creating a busy, vibrant heart for the community. Can the University library learn from this model and share space with complementary services around campus?
More radical theorists ask if a library need be no more than an App where you order up resources and organise workshops with librarians in coffee shops or co-working spaces. While at the other end of the spectrum, some Universities are focusing on building iconic architecture or ‘starchitecture’ creating inspiring places that fill students and staff with a sense of pride.
Of course, we must not forget the books. Books in libraries tend to be quite an emotive topic, and there is great debate on this subject. Should books be entirely digitised to create space in the library for other activities or is it essential to keep a full book stock on-site maintaining the physical connection with the written word or maybe the solution should be somewhere in-between?
These are just some of the options that others are considering. We want to know what your vision for the NUI Galway library would be. Do you think the notion of the technology-rich marketplace would work or would you prefer a one-stop-shop model combining a range of complimentary services and if so, which services do you think would be complimentary? Is an App right for NUI Galway or do you long for something more iconic? Let us know what you think, and if you have other ideas for the Future Library at NUI Galway.
Comment below or message us @nuignewlibrary.