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Discovery & User Experience

Library Innovations

College and university libraries are finding a decline of traditional material usage and student visits. Not only students prefer dorms rooms or apartments for reading and studying, but older people find more pleasant nearby bookstores or coffee shops such as Starbucks rather than public libraries. As technology rapidly expands people are able to find quick answers online and prefer to make an online research instead of skimming books in libraries. Finding information online “made more sense” for 93% students in 2001 study and most of them said that they were not able to find needed information or didn’t have time to go to the library. Even today students come to library to study, socialize or work on something, however they don’t use library resources or services much. To solve the problem libraries try to change the way they approach not only students but public in general by making it innovative and pleasant and rethink the way they provide content to them.

One of the good examples is National Library in Astana, Kazakhstan that has an incredible architecture developed by BIG architects. The design combines universal archetypes and traditions. Its spiral shape transforms from a horizontal organization to a vertical organization. The architecture combines rotunda shape, form of Great Library Alexandria and Arc de Triomphe with the soft silhouette of yurt (Wikipedia: Yurt – dwelling structure traditionally used by Turkic nomads in the steppes of Central Asia).

Innovation used in the library construction and design might reshape people’s opinion and improve library visits.


  Some libraries such as University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin have contracts with Google that scans their material and digitizes it. It helps people to find needed content online and moreover damaged books can be recovered and combined. Lost pages can be found in another library and combined into one single source. Digitizing library materials and innovation of electronic readers makes book easier to find and access. Therefore, library web sites play a crucial role in providing needed services and materials to users. As technology expands alternatives to the libraries increase in their popularity such as Google scholar and Bing. It moves libraries forward to innovate and reshape the way people think about libraries. Nowadays, library architectures change and books are becoming digital.We might be witnesses of hi tech style libraries with e-books on the shelves in next couple decades.

read more about National Library in Astana

1 Comment

  • Garett Montanez says:

    This is a very interesting article. The architecture of the National library of the Republic of Kazakhstan is very interesting and beautiful.

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