We’ve come a long, long way since Scott Carlson kicked off a firestorm of defensiveness and soul-searching with a 2001 feature in the Chronicle titled “The Deserted Library” (subscription required). In the ensuing years there has been so much chatter about “the library as place” that the idea of designing libraries for learning rather than for storing and accessing collections is no longer radical; libraries clearly are places for learning and library spaces should be designed accordingly. Granted some faculty aren’t thrilled with challenges to the dominance of the stacks, and many libraries have some way to go in making their libraries attractive and effective sites for student learning, but nobody thinks it’s a crazy idea.
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