Thursday, February 12, 2009

Calgary's Design for the Future

Tom Hickerson from the University of Calgary is presenting this morning, as part of the OCLC Distinguished Seminar Series.

He's going to think about the role of the research library on an academic campus--the Convergence of Knowledge and Culture. Specifically, he'll be telling us about the Taylor Family Digital Library (TFDL). It is in fact a building with physical books and digital materials...but they named it as such to help move us into the idea of an evolved digital library.

What role will libraries play on campuses? The building is important but not the only element.

The University
The University of Calgary is a start up--only 42 years old. 28,000 students. Thom is also responsible for the museum and the press. (Budget about the size of MIT or Univ of Utah.)

The building is scheduled to be opening in Fall 2010. 265,000 SF. A new central library, university museum, university archives, the university press, the centre for student success and the alumni association. The library is the hub of the campus--also a close relationship with IT and faculty teaching programs.

There will also be a high density storage facility--will hold books and journals but also archives and art. 1.6 million volume equivalency.

Also will create a quadrangle for a "green space" at the heart of campus.

Learning Commons

Giving students and faculty the capacity to create new knowledge--lots of production capacity and collaborative spaces. Digital touch tables, digital globes, lots of editing and display places.

The Centre for Student Success
Putting this centre in the middle of the building, because it's so important. Student advising, student support, aid for students with disabilities, instructional programming (envision this centre and the library to be seamless).

Physical plant
You can see what's happening in the facility from a physical plant standpoint and from the materials--you can see licensed content being used alongside BTUs being used in the space. Very cool!

Includes a focus on multi-dimensional visualization capabilities.

LAMs--Libraries, Archives and Museums--they want convergence at the university. The building is not essential to convergence and it will not guarantee it. The result?

We Have to Change.

Lots of great things going on with the museums and scholarly communications. For example, there's an open access authors' fund of $100,000 annually for University of Calgary scholars. (Only one in Canada and one of six in the world.)
*Where does the money come from?* (not been a problem.)

A reminder from the telephone technology--we went from dial to push button to cordless to mobile...we don't have to be able to see the technology to interaction with it.

One of the library's tasks will be to make tangible interfaces to intangible objects.
How do we make collections work for our users?

Digital materials, of course, but also more support for peripheral content. Lots of exciting things going on.

Questions on digital materials ownership, Chief Information Officers, and LAM convergence...hearing Tom's presentation reminds me what great opportunities the next generation of students will have--and what we as a profession can do to support the full learning experience. What a great time to be a student!

Audio of the presentation
will be available soon.

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