Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Alternate Library Uses

I wonder what Manan Ahmed would make of the University of Wisconsin, where one of our libraries - Steenbock, I think - was rated by some magazine as one of the top non-alcoholic pick-up joints in the midwest?

I do think libraries are going to be changing in the future. It's too much more cost-effective for them to give on-line access to web-based resources than actually subscribe to tons of academic journals. As far as the social situation goes, I agree with him that libraries shouldn't be worrying about whether people use them as a meeting place, as opposed to the quality of resources. College Library at UW-Madison - the main undergraduate library - has a large room with a small cafe and lots of seating for people who need to meet for study groups and the like. That much makes sense, as you have the resources and everything right there. But I wouldn't want things to spread much beyond that, and I shudder at the notion of "chill-out music" where once shushing librarians held sway.


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