I went to an informative meeting yesterday that was all about the new GVSU library. I am not at liberty to talk specifically about the tentative blueprint for the library, but the conceptual movies I saw looked very, very promising. The building aims to be LEED certified, which is not a surprise given GVSU’s commitment to environmental sustainability. The new library building also looks to be very aware of the way concepts of information and methods of research are changing: there will be a ton of open space for collaborative work (more than the current library), ubiquitous wireless computing (no desktop labs, at least as far as I could tell), and a big emphasis on comfort and convenience. In short, the new library appears to be very well-suited for current and future students.
The meeting also revealed that for many faculty members, a library still means dense stacks of print volumes, private study carrels, and periodicals on spindles. This is certainly the library model that I cut my teeth on, but the times, they are a-changing. A library is no longer just a physical building that stores information. It should be (and my sense is that the new GVSU library will be) a place that facilitates information gathering, sharing, and production. I’m hoping that the new library research interface will somehow allow for faculty and students to annotate and share their resources (see below) in a manner similar to social networking. Now that would be cool.
I can’t wait for the realization of this new, impressive space. It’s coming soon!