School libraries without walls: Preserving the library's sense of place

Lanier, Amy
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Texas Library Association

LIBRARIES AS PHYSICAL SPACES HAVE LONG BEEN THE OBJECT OF FASCINATION, REVERENCE, AFFECTION, AND EVEN OBSESSION, so it’s a curious thing to see so many of the old standards are fading away. Trending now is a new architectural phenomenon in which forward-thinking school districts are building libraries as the literal “hub” of the school, physically speaking. These modern learning commons reside in the center of the building as open spaces without walls, the goal being that at long last the library can function with no barriers to its patrons, who are free to come and go at any time as the library melds as one with the rest of the building. This eliminates the separation of the library from the classrooms and faculty, making resources more accessible and creating a culture of deeper research and increased learning. The Texas Administrative Code, Section 239.55, Standard IV, commissions certified school librarians to “develop and maintain a flexible, functional, and barrier-free library facility that conforms to national and state library standards”. In light of this, a library with no walls sounds like the perfect solution. Or does it?

Article originally published in Texas Library Journal, 96(2), 78–80. English. Published 2020.
Permission to deposit this file was given through direct contact with the publisher. For more information please see the faculty member's entry in Project INDEX -- EDH 7/7/23
Library architecture, Modern learning commons, Forward-thinking school districts
This is a published version of a paper that is available at: Recommended citation: Lanier, A. (2020). School libraries without walls: Preserving the library's sense of place. Texas Library Journal, 96(2), 78–80.This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.