The Rise, Fall and Rise of the British Public Library Building

Goulding, Anne The Rise, Fall and Rise of the British Public Library Building., 2008 . In 17th annual BOBCATSSS symposium (Bobcatsss 2009), Porto (Portugal), 28-30 January 2009. (Unpublished) [Conference paper]


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English abstract

Focuses on recent developments and controversies surrounding public library buildings noting that despite predications of the death of the library due to the information revolution and the availability of digital resources, library buildings are attracting renewed attention and, generally, increased use. Suggests that the public library building may have an important role in the new local government philosophy of “place shaping”, and particularly in the “community engagement” agenda which is part of this approach. Explores the debate about the nature of the public library space and whether policies which emphasize the role of the public library as a welcoming community space run counter to many people's idea of the library building as a quiet place for silent contemplation and study. Suggests how public libraries may take forward the community engagement and user consultation agendas through use of the public library space, focusing particularly on the potential of reader and reading development activities for bringing people together and encouraging their contributions and ideas about public library services. Concludes with a discussion of how an emphasis on the role of the public library building in community engagement activities may impact on the ideals of community librarianship.

Item type: Conference paper
Keywords: community engagement, community librarianship, place shaping, public libraries, public library buildings, reader development, social inclusion, user consultation
Subjects: K. Housing technologies. > KB. Library, archive and museum buildings.
C. Users, literacy and reading. > CB. User studies.
D. Libraries as physical collections. > DC. Public libraries.
K. Housing technologies. > KE. Architecture.
Depositing user: 2009 Bobcatsss
Date deposited: 03 Apr 2009
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:14


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