Re: new library ideas

Victoria Caplan (
Wed, 13 Jun 2001 18:28:53 -0700 (PDT)


What type of Library is being built? Because the needs differ by user
group and collection.

I work in a library that was built 11 years ago. It serves about 8,000
undergradutes and about 2,000 graduate students.

We have open stacks. We have about 6,000 CD's (CD and CD-ROM), about
30,000 VHS and about 2,000 LD. So far we have only 4 DVD. We also have
about 1,000 audio-tapes (mostly language learning sets). Our materials
circulate, which lightens the burden on our viewing and listening

We have special shelving - like roll-out drawers for the CD's, which
greatly aids in shelving and retrieval. This is great and I wish we had
more of them - we will probably have to order more and eventually get rid
of the LD shelving.

We have 33 Viewing/Listening carrels and 4 group viewing rooms. It's all
first-come, first serve - but the rooms can be reserved. I think this is
nice, the facilities are adequate so people don't have sign up to watch

I'm sorry, but I think the idea of a large screen playback or 24 hour news
is not so great. If we lived in societies where TV and CNN were not
ubiquitous (in airports, bars, some restaurants, and at home) then it
might be very cool and exciting. Instead, I think it would just be another
example of "talking wallpaper".

If you want something like that - I would suggest playing unusual items
from your own collection (with the sound off, or very low) to intrigue
people, rather like in a video store.

If you want a place that is more casual - perhaps set up an area filled w/
good Media arts or film journals, posters, etc. w/ food allowed, to
encourage people to read, think, and debate about Media.

In the past few years in my library, we have been having more and more
items put on Media Reserve. I wish we had more shelving for a variety of
media materials in the circulation area.

Soame patrons have expressed a wish that there was a "preview" station in
the stacks, so they could watch or listen before checking things out. To
alleviate this we stream-lined the check-out procedure and remind them
that the viewing area is only about 20 feet from the stacks entrance.


Victoria Caplan

On Wed, 13 Jun 2001, Rhonda Rosen wrote:

> hi everyone,
> we are in the very beginning stages of planning our new library. I'm
> hoping you guys can help me with some ideas, suggestions - maybe things you
> wish you could have in your media areas if you were to begin again - maybe
> things that are on the cutting edge that you would suggest i plan for...
> also, we are looking seriously at using an automated retrieval system.
> If anyone is using one of these systems, can you tell me if you use it for
> media items? from what i gather temperature control may actually be better
> where they are housed in the ARS than in many of our library areas, but i'm
> wondering if they really would be okay...
> another question - we were thinking of having an area where we would have a
> large screen monitor with 24 hour news playback or satellite programming
> -but sound concern is a problem -can't have it blasting in the library, yet
> i would want it where people can wander by, sit down on couches maybe and
> watch...any ideas on this?
> ok, anyone have any great ideas?
> thanks-
> rhonda