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Changing Library Environments

The three articles below illustrate the differences I've observed between libraries I've visited in Singapore and North America, and those in the Philippines. The first refers to a library that bears more of a resemblance to a mall than a traditional library, while the second laments the fact that silence is not observed in libraries anymore. The last one reminded me that I never actually got to use inter-library loan (ILL) services in the Philippines, that I've been quite delighted that I can get just about any book in North America for free via ILL, and that the United Kingdom is shifting more and more to a fee-based model.

Which of the changes described in the articles below have occurred at your library? Which ones would you like to see?

"Libraries at the Cutting Edge" by Pamela Snelson (Inside Higher Ed, 29 March 2007)
The trendiest meeting place on many college campuses these days features a coffee bar, wireless Internet zones, free entertainment and special programs, modern lounge areas and meeting rooms. And free access to books. Lots of books. This educational social hub is the campus library, which is beginning to look more like an Internet café than the academic library you remember from your college days.
"'Shhh' -- the one thing you won't hear in a library" by Sarah Miller (Los Angeles Times, 10 April 2007)
These days, libraries sound a lot less like libraries and a lot more like the line for the funnel cake booth at a county fair. Teenagers are the most egregious offenders, but they are not, sadly, alone. In this same library, two soccer moms discussed their respective trips to Hawaii in voices at least as loud as they'd have used at each other's kitchen tables, which is where — pity the fiery pits of hell were not available — their rendezvous should have taken place. A young man in Diesel jeans obsessively checked his voice mail on speakerphone.
"What Goes Around" by Susanna Ashton (Chronicle of Higher Education, 14 March 2007)
My realization came at the interlibrary loan desk... The librarian brought out 10 books for me, and I handed him my campus identification card, expecting I would check out the books, and that would be that. Instead, he asked me very pleasantly for 20 voucher tokens. I looked at him blankly and explained that I was a visiting faculty member with the English department and was authorized to check out books... It turned out that he was essentially asking me to pay about $200 in interlibrary-loan fees.

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