The Learning Resources Centre:
Assessing and Restructuring Library Space
Managing library facilities is a complex and involved process requiring knowledge of building structures, environmental controls and patterns of human interaction, to name just a few. The digital revolution has impacted all aspects of library operations, and it has especially posed challenging problem for facilities planning. Faced with constantly changing technologies, building plans must have flexibility and adaptability built into them if they are going to prove functional in the near future. Librarians must be trained to envisage and act on future trends that may affect their communityís information needs.
The LRC has presently 55 computer stations available to students. Recently there has been an increase in the number of students who take advantage of the wireless technology available at the college and who bring their own laptops to the library. This year, approximately 300 students are using personal laptops. Next year this number is expected to increase and possibly triple. How is this trend going to affect the computer and space use in the library?
One third of the student population attends South Campus part-time. This statistic can have an effect on the traffic flow for the library, especially if the majority of these students are attending evening classes. Every statistic and trend can influence the way library space will be used and should be considered in the final building design.
Ultimately, however, it will be the userís perception of the library space and how well it serves them that will decide the designís success.