Note: For my friends and family: This posting is homework. Colleagues and Classmates, read on.
Even though I've only worked in the science department since February, it's been interesting to see the changes that have been happening. We're in the process of condensing our reference section since a lot of material is being put online. We're also becoming more technology-based, I'm creating department blogs, and we're offering more courses on how to use online databases. We're also considering some changes that I can't discuss here. Throughout the library, we're becoming more technology-focused for the patrons. We've revamped our Information Commons and trust me, you can do anything there! Video editing, format conversion (including LPs, Videocassette, film negatives, etc.), software classes, conference rooms, scanners, etc. It's crazy! We've also put in a lot of lounge chairs and study tables, especially around the world classics and sampler room collections. We're also migrating to an OPAC that is more google-like and hopefully will do federated searching within all our database subscriptions!
We're not the only library doing changes though. Temple University recently closed all of their Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematical Sciences libraries and built a new Science Engineering & Architecture Library (SEAL). This library is well-lit and aesthetically appealing for students and faculty. The collection policy has changed. They have an extensive reference collection, computers, and only the most recent 10 years of monographs in architecture, biology, chemistry, engineering, geology, physics and general science. To aid patrons in using library resources, they also house a library instructional services. Also directed to the new technological generation are several new online services such as Instant Messaging reference, new book lists, and a blog site featuring new tools, resources, library events and news.
Temple, BYU, and many other libraries are certainly becoming more user-centered. Online reference is a big help since many people cannot, don't have time, or prefer not to go to the library to do their research. These libraries are also migrating towards more open and inviting spaces and workstations that invite collaboration. This helps the patron feel invited to the era and more likely to study and do research in that area. The Shhhhhh! Era has ended. We have moved on to focus more on the individual user so that their needs are met and they leave with a positive experience. Science is becoming more cross-disciplined. Temple showed they could address that patron issue by combining its science libraries. I'm sure there are other ways we can be more user-centered, but this is a start.
Rachel's Field Day
16 hours ago