Starbucks spectacular success owes as much to its offering neutral, comfortable, anonymous public space as to its coffee. Starbucks subtly promotes a sense of community – a place to meet and chat with friends or work clients as well as catch up on your laptop while not all alone at home. I’ve long been intrigued by the important role libraries offer with valued neutral, anonymous, yet public space. On college campuses today the library information commons has supplanted the two storied hallowed reading room as emblematic of this essential library function. (more…)
30 December 2009
6 October 2008
In his February 4, 2008 Boston Globe column Alex Beam quotes Louise Blalock, Hartford librarian who oversaw a $42 million renovation and expansion of that city’s public library, in turn quoting Richard Daley, mayor of Chicago: “If a city takes care of its schools, parks, and libraries, everything else will follow.” Ruminating a bit about the digital/print impact upon libraries, Beam notes the Pew study that says a young generation looks to libraries for answers, not just books, and Blalock’s observation that libraries are about connecting people with content, no matter the form. Bernie Margolis tells Beam about the hundreds who have looked at Haiti’s Code Henry since it went online and how it is important to have “a beautiful place” to come look at the original.
Boston is buidling a new branch library in Mattapan, designed by William Rawn Associates, doubled the size of the Hyde Park branch, designed by Schwartz/Silver Architects, and Hartford’s downtown library renovation was designed by FCHM-S; Fletcher, Harkness, Cohen, Moneyhun-Stopfel.