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ERIC Number: EJ1075839
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Aug-10
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1938-5978
The New Role of Librarians and Libraries: Removing the Silence Signs
Carriuolo, Nancy; Reis, Tovah
New England Journal of Higher Education, Aug 2015
An increasing number of institutions are freeing up shelf space in their libraries and moving in student services as well as a coffee shop and other lures such as flexible seating arrangements. Librarians are taking down the silence signs in all but the quiet study room and urging members of the academic community to meet, talk, research and incubate new ideas collaboratively as well as to engage in more traditional activities. Of course, all of this change is jarring to traditional academics, despite many good arguments about saving space, saving funds, and drawing greater numbers of thinkers to the library to "create" new knowledge. The question is how to make the change and communicate the change successfully. As more libraries remove printed materials from shelves, few have shared their successes and mistakes in doing so. This article describes the processes instituted by the Rhode Island College (RIC), which included: (1) planning before purging; (2) beginning of a persuasive communication plan; (3) getting down to the hard work of deselection; (4) what to do with all those printed pages; and (5) after the deselected become dearly departed, then what?. With plans well underway, RIC is changing the old library space to include student services and a coffee shop where students will be able to learn with the assistance of a librarian who can help them not only to access prior knowledge (the traditional role of the library) but also to ponder new questions, solve problems, and "create new knowledge."
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Rhode Island
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A