Thursday, July 8, 2010

Libraries in malls?

I recently read this article, found through Ypulse (which is a great newsletter for those following Gen Y culture and trends, by the way), about moving libraries into malls. It's an interesting concept, and makes sense—after all, that's where a lot of youth likes to spend their precious free time. According to the article, it also seems to be working, quite well in fact. Circulation, sign-ups for library cards, number of patrons are all going up, at a high rate. And why shouldn't it? In a hang-out place where the only things you're usually able to cost money, here is an alternative. It's reintroducing the library to young adults who might not think to make a special trip to the library if it's not in a place they already hang out near.

Are there any problems with this model? For the most part, I'm thinking no. That said, however, I don't think all libraries should start packing up books and moving to the nearest shopping plaza. It's a great idea to have a branch in a mall, but there is also that atmosphere of being in a library: a quiet place to sit and read, browsing through books, doing homework in a place designed for readers and researchers. To me, a mall doesn't necessarily seem conducive to such an atmosphere. Every time I'm at the Burlington Mall (in Massachusetts, if you're wondering), it's just loud and busy. I would feel frazzled. But that's not to say there's no value in the idea; on the contrary, it's just one qualm I have about the whole thing.

Do you have any thoughts on this? Have you ever seen a library in a mall, or do you think it would be great/terrible/interesting/whatever?

1 comment:

  1. That is very interesting! I've never heard of that before. I'd say why the heck not!


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