DAHSL: Developing Academic Health Sciences Libraries

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a collaboration to create the 21st century academic health sciences library…

Trends and Challenges identified after re-reading Logan’s 2010 Library Space article

Health sciences libraries building survey, 1999–2009, by Logan Ludwig, PhD, AHIP, FMLA;

J Med Libr Assoc. 2010 April; 98(2): 105–134. doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.98.2.004.PMCID: PMC2859257

Trends:

  • Flexibility
  • Cafés
  • Information/learning commons
  • Single service desk
  • Conference rooms
  • Compact shelving
  • Artwork
  • 24/7 access
  • Wireless connectivity everywhere
  • Specialty functions: …providing space for specialty functions such as videoconferencing, a history of health and medicine room (with fireplace), a reading pavilion for special events such as research day poster sessions, and open reserve reading rooms.

Challenges:

  • rapid technological changes affecting teaching, learning, and research; changes in teaching methodologies
  • sustainability
  • decreasing rates of financial support; skyrocketing prices
  • poorly sited buildings
  • access for people with disabilities
  • replacing mechanical and electrical equipment, or correcting other structural deficiencies.
  • Noise, cleaning, plumbing, heating and ventilation/soundproofing
  • Zoning for quiet and silent study areas and use of white noise
  • Choosing colors that hide dust and dirt
  • maintaining parallel collections and systems, digital and paper
  • reconstructing the traditional concept of the “library as a place” to the “institution’s center for information
  • retooling space for concentration, collaboration, contemplation, communication, and socialization
  • clearer operational vision of the library as the information nexus of the institution and not merely as a physical location

Bottom line: New construction and renovation will continue because what goes on inside libraries now is different than what was planned to go on inside of them when they were built, just as what goes on inside of them today will be different than what goes on inside them tomorrow.

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