The physical library

I wish I could have taken pictures of all the students here in the library today (I guess I could have, really, but then I would have to ask everyone`s permission and I couldn`t be bothered..). It is absolutely chock-a-block in here today. That tells me that: 1) we need more places to sit in the library (and we will in a year or two, but..) and 2) the students want to sit in or near the library when they work, even when they do not necessarily need to use the physical resources that are kept here.

We have a very limited physical space (even though we thought it was vast when we moved in here five and a half years ago). The number of students here has closed to doubled during these years and we now need to make room for more students.

We have already made some changes, like discarding a few thousand books and getting rid of two big shelves that made room for four new tables. We had some benches along one of the panoramic windows, but we are now moving them and replacing them with high tables and cafe chairs. In two weeks more students have used those tables than we have seen on the benches for the last five years. So, even small changes can work.

Still– when I look around today, seeing students sitting around with their computers on their laps (in the lack of a table), I wish the building process could progress faster..

The librarian look

Well.. I don`t think librarians will ever get our own show at the Paris Fashion Week, but that said I think it is interesting to see what people associate with librarians. I was preparing a class for tomorrow and I needed an image to one of the slides. I am going to say something about me being a liaison librarian, but I didn`t want a big picture of myself. SO.. I logged on to Colourbox and searched for “librarian”. That was funny (and a little depressing..). These are some of the pictures I found:

Now, to be fair I also found one or two of young, good looking girls (and one boy), but they are, without exception, holding or standing next to a stack of books. I understand that Colourbox needs to match searches to the stereotypes, but on a more serious note.. I think it does constitute a problem if people remain to see us only as the curators of books. I wish Colourbox would tag some of their images, like people searching databases, working on computers and so on, with the “librarian” tag.. Most of librarians look like “normal people”, guys.. It`s our Clark Kent, thing..