May 12, 2007
If You Build It, They Will Come
Last Fall, we opened our newly-renovated Chemistry Library and have used its development as one model for our discussion of new thinking about library spaces. Under the leadership of Tina Chrzastowski, Chemistry has been re-designed to take into account the increasing availability of scholarly digital information, as well as the needs of library users for new spaces that provide environments conducive both to individual study and to collaborative work.
The big question, of course, is: did it work?
If we judge the success of the renovation by the simplest measure, the answer is a resounding "Yes!" Using direct head counts of users in the Chemistry Library at different times of day during Fall 2006, we have seen an increase of over 200% in library use between Fall 2005 and Fall 2006. 200% increase in use of the physical library - we won't even talk (for now) about the increased use of digital collections. The "library as place" is alive and well in Noyes Lab!
Among the strategic goals that the UIUC Library has established for the future is our commitment to create Library facilities that meet the needs of 21st century faculty and students. If people are voting with their feet, we have good reason to believe that, with Chemistry, we're making real progress toward that goal.
Posted by swalter at May 12, 2007 1:58 AM
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