In these days of internet vast amount of information are made available in a matter of seconds so much so that libraries are under threat of going dimmer. Innovative measures are to be taken to encourage the populace, young and old to read and make use of libraries.
Libraries in Malaysia are on the downtrend. They are not reader-friendly. Most if not all libraries including those in the universities have security guards at the turnstiles. It is as if knowledge and information kept are to be guarded like gold deposits in the banks! This trend will hasten the demise of libraries in Malaysia, more of this in a future posting.
The pictures of libraries below are of decades old.
Central University Library, University of California at San Diego.
University at St. Gollen, Switzerland, 18th century building housing incunobula and rare manuscripts.
Bibliotheque Nationale, the national library of France, Paris.
L: Sate V. I. Lenin Library, the national library of Russia, in Moscow.
R: Bodleian Library, the library of the University of Oxford, England.
Central Library, Accra, Ghana.
Public library in Vaerlose, Copenhagen.
National Library of Canada, Ottawa.
Central Library of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City.
Robert Hutchings Goddard Library, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts.
Wichita Public Library, Kansas.
Reading Room, U.S. Library of Congress.
The architectural design of a library must take into considerations of many factors. It can be simple to cut costs or unique but the criterion is functional at the utmost. It has to blend with the surroundings eg. climate, natural and manmade landscape, buildings, types of community catered for. Spaciousness gives that sense of openness and friendly atmosphere. Easy access and centrally located would encourage patronage. The staff should be well trained in their respective job functions that offer diverse services to cater different needs and modes of knowledge seeking.