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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors

The Living Library describes the evolution of one possible future for academic libraries: as laboratories for cross-disciplinary investigation. At the University of Maryland, a collaboration among the Libraries, the School of Architecture and the Department of Anthropology led to the participation of students, faculty and staff in an initiative to design a full renovation of the main library building with the guidance of professionals in anthropology and architecture. As part of the process, Anthropology students and library faculty and staff investigated how the broader university community undertakes its work in the library. Architecture students in graduate design studio analyzed the findings along with the building and then created a series of designs to support faculty, student and staff work practices. All of the work was reviewed by a leadership committee from a variety of disciplines. The authors – the library director, the dean of architecture, a practicing architect and an applied anthropologist – describe the project, explain the methods, and review the outcomes, sharing their experiences of the living library.

Chapter 1. The McKeldin Library in Context 1

Appendix 1.1: Project Process

Chapter 2. Ethnographic Study of the Library

Appendix 2.1: Interview Questionnaire

Chapter 3. Participatory Design of the Living Library
Chapter 4. Defining the Living Library
Chapter 5. Designing the Living Library

Appendix 5.1: Stakeholder Goals and Objectives Appendix 5.2: Books as Heart Plans Appendix 5.3: Bridges and Connection Plans

Conclusions Bibliography About the Authors

Patricia Steele

David Cronrath

David Cronrath is Professor and Dean of the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at the University of Maryland. He is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and the University of California at Berkeley. David has been an educator and administrator for over 20 years.

Sandra Parsons Vicchio

Sandra Parsons Vicchio, AIA, LEED BD+C, has her own firm that provides architecture, planning, and design services with a focus on libraries, cultural, and educational institutions.

Nancy Fried Foster

Nancy Fried Foster is lead anthropologist at the University of Rochester River Campus Libraries.

Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)

Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship.