Thinking about library design

You can observe a lot by watching. YOGI BERRA The only important thing about design is how it relates to people. VICTOR PAPANEK One of the interesting things about planning a new library is thinking about design. This is another area where we have to begin with the end in mind and to know what our goals are, so that we aren’t just following a pre-set template of what a library “looks like.” After visiting High Tech High in San Diego last year, and thinking […]

Library design, anyone?

Want to design a youth library in Nairobi, Kenya?  Check out more about AMD’s Open Architecture Challenge to design a library and media space, internet cafe, and research center for SIDAREC, the Slums Information Development and Resources Centre. Their proposal astutely points out the problem of the digital divide: “Today’s world prosperity is technologically driven. The world has become a global village where the issue of distance is no longer the case. People interact and do business at the click of a mouse. Currently people living on […]

How long does it have to be?

  Probably one of the most frequently asked classroom and library questions about a project, paper, or even when a student is asked to check out book is–“How long does it have to be?”  There are lots of things embedded in that question that bother me. First off, there is the notion kids have that length equals quality.   I’m sure we’ve enforced that notion ourselves by assigning lengths for papers, powerpoints, # of pages read, etc.  in our attempts to satisfy the students’ “need to […]

Young and hungry

Side by side in Business Week this week: “Young and Hungry” article about Indian companies and young Indians “desperate to improve their lives.”   Facing that, an ad for steel company Arcelor Mittal, entitled “Boldness Changes Everything.” Thinking about what it would be like if all our students were “young and hungry” about reading and learning, and wondering what we can do to instill not just knowledge, but hunger.    How can boldness in our schools change that? Also, thinking about how the company portrays themselves in […]

Redesigning Library “2.0”

I met with our architects today for the redesign of our library/research center.  We’ve been working on the plans for several months now, trying to create a new space that fits the philosophy of our library more closely. (I always say we have a 21st century library in a 19th century space!) The plans are coming to fruition and it’s exciting to see, and to get the opportunity to have so much input into the whole design and process.  Although the librarian should have a lot […]

Design and the library

Tomorrow I’m meeting with the architects to work on our new library design.  I’m starting to feel a little anxious as we move out of the imagination stage and into the design going on paper stage.  This project is one I have been envisioning for so long, yet it’s kind of daunting to actually think about the entire space being gutted and redesigned. I’ve been trying to guide the design with the principles of web 2.0, of a collaborative, student oriented space,  and also “future proof” our […]

Designing the future?

Maybe because I’m working on the new plans for the library, as well as rereading Daniel Pink’s book Whole New Mind, plus having recently visited High Tech High, I’ve been obsessing a little bit lately over the idea of the role of design and creativity in schools, and pondering about what we could do better.  design as ‘shrimp sushi’ Not just design in the sense of a building, but in the sense of how we could teach elements of better design for student projects, and create more cross […]