Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Library of the Future - Darien Library!


An Extreme Library

Louise Parker Berry,
Darien Library

Delays in building of their new site afforded them time to really vision what they would like in their new library - 2 years.

"The first of the new libraries, not the last of the old."

They used the idease from Ray Oldenburg's book The Great Good Place .

Adapted "extreme customer service" in a new building organized with new technology. Library of the future.

Peter Gisolfi, the architect, shows us the site plan and discusses the planning details. Lots of environmentally friendly details. Then he moves on to show us the floor plan. Now we are looking at artist's drawings of the building. Lovely--looks like it fits in well with existing buildings - lots of bricks, glass, and green landscaping. Lots of green space. He seems to have a grasp of what type of materials are going into the space.

Trying to create "timeless interiors" so they do not go out of style, don't look old so they will still look good in years to come.

Alan Kirk Gray:
Did not want to put some technology over an existing plan; wanted to do something seriously different. Not their library; it is their patron's library. They need to take some risks if they are to survive.

OODA loop:
  • observe where you are
  • orient yourself
  • decide what you are going to do
  • act
--> start the loop again
--> term used by fighter pilots

Make each single part perfect before moving on to looking at the whole.

Set it up so that patrons can use technology as technology. Set them up to do patron to patron (P2P) or they will by-pass the library.

Material handling system happens to have RFID at the front end. Self checking for the patron - major benefit for the library if it is done right. You can organize the workflow and change out who does what.

Skip the RFP process - the more important the process, the less value an RFP process gives you.

No tech services, no circulation back office, no cataloguing. They have "workflow managers" rather than clerks. They are out-sourcing literally EVERYTHING to do with technical services. They only catalogue about 150 books a year on site. They want to see librarians to be knowledge workers.

They want their time from book order to book on the shelf to be 18 hours. It would be 5 hours if they were closer to the book supply site. They want a "short supply tail". In 5-10 years: they want delivery from distributor and to the patron the same day.

Not a traditional reference desk - collaborative space where librarian can work together with patron.

No gaming; no computers in the teen space. It will be right beside the computer space; they can bring their own computers in, but they want it to be a "hang out" space.

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