697.10 B22 2005 Library Space Planning
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Sterling Library.  Photo Credit: Michael Marsland

Libraries Designed for Learning
Most library space planning begins with focused attention to library operations. At a time when more and more library services can and should be delivered digitally, traditional planning methods are all too likely to yield poor returns on new investment in physical library space.

I believe that, properly done, library space design situates information in the social context of learning. This synergistic situating of information and learning is the core function of a bricks and mortar library, and it aligns both the library and its building with the basic educational mission of the college or university.

As the Yale University Librarian (1994-2001) and as a senior library administrator at the Johns Hopkins University and Northwestern University, I gained substantial experience with library planning, construction, and renovation. With this experience, I can help colleges and universities define their aspirations for the library and make the case for investment in library space. In doing these things, I can help strengthen the library's alignment with the fundamental educational mission of the institution it serves.

I've begun a multi-phase research project aimed at aligning the design of informal learning spaces more strongly with institutional values and mission. Visit the Learning Behaviors Project page of this site for a description of this work and to learn how your campus or institution might participate in this research effort.
Scott BennettScott Bennett, Consultant
Yale University Librarian Emeritus
711 S. Race, Urbana, IL 61801-4132

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