Sunday, July 1, 2007

Physical Space and Digital Space--Librarians Belong in Both

Title: Physical Space and Digital Space--Librarians Belong in Both
Title of Journal: Computers in Libraries; May 2007, Vol. 27 Issue 5 P26-29
Author: Balas, Janet L.
Date: July 1, 2007

This article discusses the workload of librarins. The workload has been doubled due to the management of the physicla library and now also the digital library space. Technology has enabled library patrons to not nly access infrmation at the library but also at home. The ability to service people outside of the library has raised many questions aboiut the need for a physicla library space. If these resources are accessable online why is it neccessary to haev a librray. Librarins have since responded with the promotion of the "librray as a place". It is crucila that during this promotion that librarins demonstarte personal servie, socila interaction and emphasize programming to patrons. In many ways the digital space of the library is the same as the physicla space. Patrons are able to have personal service through reference intiatives adn they have social interaction with various networking technologies. Librarins are trying to make the digital library as easy to access as the physical space. These two spaces should be comfortable places that patrons want to visti. By librarians taking on this double duty they are showcasing there job duties and the library as an efficient place to find information.
The second part of the article discusses the trends that are emerging to showcase both the digital and physicla library space. The first trend is called Information Commons. It is a communal space with free flowing staff with research computers and maybe even a coffee shop. This space is supposed to be more inviting to patrons. The second trend that works closely with the first is a roving refernce librarian. Instead of the usual reference desk, these librarins conduct there searches away from the reference desk. They lend assistance to patrons while they are in the referece section of the library. Some librarins are even taking it outside of the library. The main goal of these two trends is to raise patrons interest and showcase the accessiblity of the library.
This article really helped me to understand the differences of the two library spaces. I knew before what they meant I just did not know how they were defined. I find it very interesting that in 2007 we are actually considering going with just a digital space for a library. It is upsetting to me because I find it to be very unrealistic. The libraries patrons consisit of a diverse group and not everyone has online access . To some of these patrons the library is a sanctuary of comfort and relaxation. I beleive that if we ever get to the point of only having a digidtal space that respect for the libray and its services would greatly diminish.

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