Library spaces, library faces

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Author: Gail K. Dickinson
Date: March-April 2014
From: Knowledge Quest
Publisher: American Library Association
Document Type: Column
Length: 1,193 words

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As I write I his (November 2013), I am heading 10 Hartford, Connecticut, for AASL's 16th National Conference and Exhibition. I will learn much from the speakers' presentations and concurrent sessions; I will visit with old friends and meet new friends; and I will look with envy and wonder at the new products displayed at the vendor exhibition. I am not alone in my anticipation. All across the country and. indeed, the world, thousands of school librarians are making their way to Hartford. "See you at conference?" was the farewell greeting that ended many conversations in the past days and weeks as the excitement grew.

In libraryland, as with other holds, professional development is increasingly experienced online. Conference calls and discussion threads take the place of committee meetings. Social media allow for more real-time conversations with friends from around the country than face-to-face conversations with friends next door. Catching up at conference is sometimes just picking up the thread of a conversation started online where we watch each other's lives unfold through status updates on Facebook and Instagram photos.

All of this constant interaction makes one wonder whether having face-to-face conferences makes sense anymore. Our lives are spent online, and it is logical to regard travel to conferences as yet another vestige of a previous century, along with landline phones, typed memos, and carbon copies. Yet the anticipation bubbling through (he social-media venues about conferences seems to indicate that there is something that draws librarians together--despite the expenditure of precious time, money, and energy--to meet face-to-face.

What's a "Real" Library, Anyway?

Some of the same conjecture can arise when considering the value of virtual library spaces versus traditional physical library facilities. That the granite walls and marble halls of libraries are dissolving is inarguable. Libraries are becoming flipped....

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Source Citation
Dickinson, Gail K. "Library spaces, library faces." Knowledge Quest, Mar.-Apr. 2014, pp. 4+. Accessed 4 Dec. 2021.

Gale Document Number: GALE|A377575168