Presented at ALCTS Midwinter Symposium, American Library Association, January 7, 2011. Keynote by Michael Miller at Beams and Bytes: Constructing the Future Library Architectural and Digital Considerations. Copyright © 2011 Michael D. Miller
For those who can live with ambiguity and who are not risk adverse, these are exciting times to be working in libraries. We are a profession that is reinventing itself and how we do business. The 20th century model of the library is fading and the successful 21st century library model is only beginning to emerge. The impact of technology is radically and permanently changing the nature of our collections, services, and staff and with it our use of space. There is a story evolving about how the creative repurposing of library space is changing the perceptions of the library on campus. How we use this newly recaptured space will re-define and expand our roles and will increase our value to our institutions. What has been happening at Cal Poly is only one story but it may be illustrative of a more generalized movement in the country. Cal Poly’s investment in creating an information commons, café, and 24/7 space has lead to an active exhibit and speakers series, partnerships with colleges, appreciation from faculty and students, requests from the Provost to take on new responsibilities, and a strategic plan that embraces the community. This is more than a story about space.