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STL Special Library Spotlight (Space and Special Libraries) July 9, 2009

Posted by Cynthia in Library Stuff.
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In our visits to the various special libraries in the St. Louis area I have tended to always compare how the different institutions utilize the resources of technology and space. On Wednesday night, our Special Libraries class visited the U.S. Courts, 8th Circuit Library in downtown St. Louis at the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse. Located on the 22nd floor of the 28 story building, the view alone made the library space impressive, but what impressed me was that it was the first library we visited that had space for their collection and room to grow while also having open space for studying and reference. While they did have compact shelving, as almost all libraries we have visited have, it was only for a small part of their collection that is not used frequently.
One of the reasons for such a great utilization of space for a library is that the librarians had a large amount of input to the design and layout of their workspace. In many of the previous libraries we have experienced this semester, space and lack of, or better use of has been an issue. A few libraries have had newer facilities, and the librarians there have still been unhappy with the space they now occupy. In these cases the librarians had very little input into the design and layout process, and the input most often came at the end of the process.
Some of the libraries we have visited have hopes for new facilities in the near future. If they are lucky, they will have the same experience as the U.S. Courts, 8th Circuit Library and have input into the design and layout process.

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