chapter  4
20 Pages

Library Space and Technology

ByRobert P. Holley

Libraries have dealt with the impact of technology on space for decades. This chapter will ¿rst provide a historical perspective before focusing on current trends. While developments have overlapped, it is proposed that there are three main periods of technological innovation. The ¿rst is the use of technology to automate backroom processes such as cataloguing, acquisitions, and serials control. This period extends roughly from 1960-1980 for the initial applications with further, though often less important, developments since then. The second period is the arrival of the online catalogue in the period from 1980-1994, as well as the efforts at retrospective conversion that allowed the disappearance of the card catalogue. The third and principal period starts with the arrival of the Internet and extends to the present. The full implications of the Internet on library space have yet to be seen, but substantive changes have already occurred. In general, larger academic libraries in the developed world have been the ¿rst to embrace new technology, while smaller libraries everywhere and libraries in the developing countries have mostly introduced technology more slowly, most often due to budget constraints.