I was asked to talk about open source, Koha, and Library Mashups at the TCLC spring meeting in PA today. But before I gave my talks, I got to listen to Nancy Magnuson give a keynote address on Transforming the Library.
Nancy talked to us about the transformation of thein Baltimore. This Athenaeum was decided to be the intellectual center of the campus. In fact they put it right smack in the center of the campus. The old building was a boring circ 1950 square building that they had grown out of. The new Athenaeum was 102,000 sq feet and the library is 72,000 sq feet of that. The building also houses the art gallery, a cafe, a community service center and exercise loft. The building itself is 4 stories and covered in walls of glass which is awesome!!
Inside the library the walls and shelves are painted in bright friendly colors. There is also a great meeting area in the center that doesn’t look like an empty lecture hall when no one is there, but can be used for social events, lectures, and even exercise groups. In the student interviews, one of the students said it was both a great social and work environment at the same time. In addition to the public areas, they were now able to work more efficiently with their special collections. They have a large reading room and display cabinets. They also have a work room where they can work with their special collection materials – something they didn’t have before.
One of the things I like the most about this renovation is all of the green aspects. They have water and energy saving measures in place – most of these aren’t that unique – pretty much what we’ve all heard of in other arenas. The one really unique and cool things is the rain garden.
The students and librarians alike think that this transformation has changed the way people interact on campus. Because the library is now in the center of campus, open 24 hours, and has a 24/7 cafe, the building has become a social hub on campus.