- No printing allowed. Saves librarians hundreds of hours troubleshooting printers (I worked at a library where that was the primary use of reference desk hours), saves the networking gurus innumerable headaches, forces patrons into more reasonable and organized modes of storage (to the clouds!), environmentally-friendly. I hate printers.
- Only open access e-resources. No proprietary vendor databases, let's see if we can make a legitimate research collection out of DOAJ, Bielefeld, PLoS, arXiv, et al. There are tons of resources out there for free, but can faculty live with that limitation?
- Hours suited to patrons and not employees. I have this hunch—and I can't confirm it because I don't have access to everyone's circulation, reference, and traffic stats—that being closed on the weekends is more motivated by staff's desire for time off than actual usage at many libraries. Not my commuter college, as it so happens, but at many others. My local public library is closed on Sunday, when few people works, but open at 10am on a Tuesday, when most people are at their jobs. That does not make sense to me.
- Computer & Internet literacy is taken seriously as a subset of information literacy. Too many librarians complain about teaching students to use a word processor or browser. These things are vital now! This is perhaps the element closest to realization in most libraries: many public libraries already provide computer training. Internet literacy (avoiding phishing, the best services to use, how to modify your browser) is still pretty under-taught.
- The website would more closely resemble Google's home page than arngren.net. Libraries fulfill lots of roles and it's tough deciding what content deserves space on the home page. But tough choices need to be made because currently we're flooding our users with links, obscuring the useful ones amidst piles of drivel. Tabbed interfaces and aggressive use of analytics to pare down rarely used links are called for.
Friday, August 26, 2011
My Ideal Library
A thought experiment. Few people would really want to use this library, I imagine.