Throughout history libraries have been highly effective as what we might call idea storehouses. Universities and schools have been highly effective as idea communicators. But, particularly at a time when many are questioning the relevance of libraries (thinking in terms of the ‘storehouse’ model), might we develop libraries further as idea factories? The place you go to generate ideas in the first place?”
I completely agree with the sentiment of this post, that libraries need to move away from the storehouse model and more towards an active agent of research on campuses. At Hampshire, my crew of librarians are engaged sherpas helping our students and faculty select resources for capstone projects, muddle through internet resources, and bringing people together to work on various projects. I’ve been thinking more and more about how we can also be a place we help facilitate open source platforms for scholarly communication, provide instructional support for emerging technologies in collaboration with educational technology folks, and continue to be a neutral meeting group for our interdisciplinary projects to meet and flourish. I’ll say it again for emphasis, I love the sentiment of this post.
Of course, being at Hampshire, calling the library an ideas factory would not be appropriate, so I will say my holiday wish is that our library can continue to market itself NOT as a warehouse of books, but a dynamic ideas salon where faculty, staff, and students can come together to learn, to do, to ask questions, and enjoy community.