Last month I came across the article that Seven Days ran about how librarian Jessamyn West is on a mission to visit every library in Vermont, and it made think about how libraries inhabit physical space.

As much as I believe that the future of libraries hinges on virtual service delivery I still love to visit libraries, and believe the physical library is important. How the physical space manifests itself can be different depending on the library: for example corporate libraries could be welcoming for meetings and knowledge sharing while academic libraries could have lecture spaces alongside small study areas, and public libraries could be open forums for community discussion. 

Regardless of audience though libraries can leverage their physical space alongside their virtual space to brand the library as a community resource in the virtual and a physical world.  Though you'll notice among the above examples I didn't mention "house books". While libraries have often been viewed as book repositories libraries have progressed beyond housing dead trees on shelves and need to show themselves as knowledge connectors. 

Another reason that the article really resonated with me is that whenever I travel to a new place I always enjoying checking out the local public library.  I always find theses trips invigorating and educational as every library approaches their mission slightly differently and you can learn a lot about their perspective by soaking up the atmosphere. I look forward to more seeing libraries as my travels continue.

Jessamyn West Documents by Ethan De Seife ( Published on: 12.18.2013 and Accessed on: 12.20.2013

Elbow Grease and Geocoding Making a Map of Vermont Public Libraries by Jessamyn West ( Published on: 11.06.2013 and Accessed on: 12.20.2013