University PreConference, Program
Midwinter Meeting, New Orleans, January
MLS, MA - Director
of Libraries, Howard
AIA - Principal, The
a New Library?
Mekkawi, MA, MLS, MA, Director of Libraries, Howard
a New Library?
may advance a number of arguments to support
the library's case to convince administrators,
the state legislature, etc. that a new
building or a renovation/addition is needed. An
article in College & Research Libraries
H. Bahr, CRL News,
July-August 2000) summarized
ten such arguments:
functions of libraries in the digital
space for networked technologies,
collaborative learning, multimedia
library buildings can shore up an
institution's aging technologies.
are retreats from the world--an
integral part of a student's well-rounded
education and the social-intellectual
experience of a college education.
all materials are going digital.
of extensive digitization is
storage [and services] may not be
storage medium has to be refreshed
as technology changes. Can you trust
your contents providers?
of intellectual property.
books on a computer is unsatisfying.
programs are deficient.
and libraries provide contexts.
are library-centric arguments. Strategic
planning is a political process, and libraries
are but one of many contenders to the limited
resources of the institution. Extra-library
reasons that may lend political support
to the case statement for a new library
program accreditation reviews.
by faculty and students.
from top prospective researchers/faculty.
from top quality prospective students.
resources (incl. prized real estate)
big donor (e.g. $60m from Peter B Lewis
to Princeton Science Library).
why bother, one may say given the decline
in the number of physical visits to the
library in recent years. Consider the following
policy--"just-in-time" vs "just-in-case" resources.
technologies--The more we
rely on distributive technologies,
the lesser the need to visit the
library physically to obtain the
information you need. Think about
the myriad of Web-based services
we provide and promote--all via remote
access: Online OPAC; online renewal
and hold functions for books; online
ILL requests; electronic document
delivery to the patron's desktop;
online reference; electronic full-text
course reserves; online conferencing;
service--Libraries have rightfully
adopted customer-focused principles
and practices--to deliver what the
customer wants, when he/she
wants it, where it's most
convenient for him/her to receive
it. Not surprisingly, turnstile statistics
have been adversely affected by this
rend. So, what about those "creative" approaches
adopted by some library managers
to shore up sagging "library
Of Mocha Lattes &
days, more and more students
are entering libraries not
through turnstiles but through
phone lines and fiber optic cables... Some
librarians are fighting back--with
plush chairs, double-mocha lattes... Colleges
have to do something to attract
to the physical structures.."
Deserted Library: As Students
Work online, Reading Rooms
empty out--leading some campuses
to add Starbuck" The
Chronicle of Higher Education,
November 16, 2001
buzz word in academe in the last few
years has been learning outcomes and
methods to assess them. College administrations
as well as regional higher education
accrediting bodies and government agencies
are asking for outcomes assessment indicators--library
ones in our case. Certainly, turnstile
counts, especially those raised as result
of coffee and donut stands inside the
library, are no indicators of successful
library contributions to learning. Furthermore,
to compare such "originalities" with
marketing arrangements at large chain
bookstores, as some library managers
have proposed, is very flawed thinking.
The respective patron populations are
very distinct. When I walk into a bookstore
I do so because I want to; most
students visit the college library because
they have to. The CHE's article
mentioned above reports that traffic
at Texas Christian University library
doubled after the installation of a $40,000
coffee shop.... During the same time,
book circulation dropped by 30%!
digital resource usage statistics--Turnstile
and book circulation statistics
are clearly defined and easily
captured. Not so with electronic
resources usage. There is confusion
about what to measure in the networked
environment. Definitions are not
standardized and are differentially
reported by database vendors--number
of searches, logins, views, retrievals,
connect time, turnaways, abstracts,
texts only, texts and graphics,
citations, page images, & so
forth. Cynics would also contend
that vendors-maintained statistics
are not independent or entirely
are have been good attempts at standardization
of e-metric, though, such as those
undertaken by the International
Coalition of Library Consortia.
Research libraries are trying to
identify ways to measure 'e-Metrics
outcomes'. For current activities
regarding the measurement of the
use and value of digital resources,
see ARL Statistics and Measurement
age technologies, market forces, and
continually evolving needs and expectations
of information consumers are re-shaping
our thinking about the allocation and
use of library space. While incurable
nostalgics continue to suggest building
concepts of yesteryear as viable concepts,
the pragmatics and visionary among us
have adapted to the new forces and recognized
the many opportunities for symbiotic
relationships between library and non-library
activities within the physical structure.
Thus, while they continue to provide
plenty of room for traditional resources,
new library buildings contain new spaces
that are responsive to current and envisioned
campus needs: Collaborative learning/problem-based
learning rooms; digital media production
laboratory; information commons; consultation
services; smart classrooms; video-conferencing
facilities; centers for excellence in
teaching/learning to assist faculty in
technology-enhanced instructional methods.
Regretfully, these are the very new spaces
that the 900-page 1999 edition Planning
Academic & Research Libraries casually
discourages as "non-library facilities.
Never mind what this library bible says, "follow
your convictions," wrote the
French paysagist Corot, "when
you follow someone, you're always behind."
Did Howard University Get to Build
But Two New Libraries at the Same Time?
University's leadership is strongly
committed to providing the best opportunities
for life-long learning, leadership
review reports have urged the University
to correct severe deficiencies in
library and information technologies
serving the health science complex
(College of Medicine, College of
Dentistry, School of Pharmacy, Nursing & Allied
Health, and the Hospital) and the
School of Law.
University is committed to greater
financial independence: turning off
prospective high-caliber students
and faculty because of poor support
facilities means missed opportunities
University wanted to resolve library
as well as academic needs through
a judicious use of space. Thus the
Steering Committee for the new building
included representatives from every
academic and clinical department
in the health sciences complex, library
management, students, representatives
from the community, as well as experts
from the National Institutes of Health
and private industry.
the faculty, the benefits of the
new building and its configuration
of new spaces for research and collaborative
learning far outweighed the loss
of a convenient parking space.
immediate residential community was
convinced of the dramatic impact
that the development of the parking
lot will have on the quality of the
wider community stood to gain substantially
from the new facility's health information
and awareness outreach programs,
which the University considers as
part of its leadership mission in
_______________ . _______________
LSHSL images Set
A, Set B,
and the following articles:
Starts New Chapter for Howard University:
Seen as Part of School's Renaissance
By Amy Argetsinger, Washington
Two for the Books: Howard
Libraries Are Studies
By Benjamin Forgey, Washington Post
Joe C. Rizzo, ALA, AIA,
The Hillier Group
© 1998 Howard
University, Washington DC
Health Sciences Library | University
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