Virtual Library Spaces by Ken Smith

Last week in discussion, we addressed the pros and cons of on-site and off-site collections because shelf space isn’t forever. Presented was the question of “both” and the discussion focused on the value of the printed collection and preserving the integrity of the traditional library.  Many discussed the value of having a hybrid collection because of our responsibility to the needs of our patrons and a few discussed the valuable physical space or real estate involved. Though we all have varying opinions of what is best, I think we all agree, to some extent, that as collections evolve and premium space grows in demand, we have to do something.

Third Space

Our customers are asking for something different and as the needs or demands of our patrons change, we must embrace the solution of “Virtual Spaces” to compliment and to create the necessary floor space for what is referred to as the “Third Space” (Montgomery & Miller, 2011).  “A Third Place is somewhere other than home or work, the first two places” (Annoyed Librarian, 2014).

There has been an increase in library usage, they just are not coming in to the physical library. In-library use is declining significantly over the past ten years (See Graph)  (Reid, 2015).  By creating virtual spaces, we can increase our physical space and enhance our resource offerings which allows us to find ways to reach our patrons and remain relevant so they will continue to be patrons.

Virtual Spaces in the Library include but are not limited to:

Library Web Resources; used to increase

  • 24/7 Chat with Librarian or Ask-a-Librarian
  • Online Catalogs
  • Borrowing/Returning/Renew

Library Online Collections; used to be increase the library offerings.

  • Article Database
  • Digital Archives
  • eJournals
  • Special Collections

Library Social Networking Sites; used for promotion and to increase reach throughout the community.

  • Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedInsimple-flat-social-icons3
  • Blogs, RSS Feeds

Library Technology Resources; helps the library stay relevant and enhances that “Third Place”   wsu library

  • Computer Labs
  • Collaboration Rooms
  • Tele-Conferencing Meeting Rooms
  • Gaming Rooms


Interested in more ideas about creating Virtual Library Spaces: Read More…


Group 5 References Here: Reference Page Link



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