The rapid continuing advance in the use by libraries of telecommunication and computer technology…will modify considerably internal library operation, and architectural and structural techniques will facilitate the advent of these modifications. (Kaser 1988:160)
The inspiration for this chapter comes from a paper by Murray Martin (1994) in which he addresses the need for serious thinking on the future library building. Although his concern is for the academic library, his rationale is applicable to all types of libraries. Regardless of type, library managers must plan for the newly recognized future, for high-level electronic information services. In his opening paragraph Martin quotes David Kaser, internationally recognized library building consultant. The sentence at the top of this chapter follows the sentence that Martin quoted. Both Kaser and Martin are emphasizing the need to find a new paradigm for the academic library building. Throughout his paper Martin remarks on the necessity of finding a new way of organizing library services, of reconsidering the way libraries appear today, and of rethinking how services are presented to users.
Planning the new or renovated library building for successful use of computer-based information services is the subject of this chapter. Unless we have effective functional surroundings we cannot succeed, so goes the timeless theme of