Monday, November 02, 2020

#NYLA2020 : Physical and digital library space

SocksAlmost a year ago, I headed to Saratoga Springs, NY for the New York Library Association (NYLA) Annual Conference. The sessions were good, as was the networking and I enjoyed being in Saratoga. Looking back, I wish I had known what this year was going to bring, so I would have enjoyed it even more. Now this year's NYLA conference will be an online event with both broadcasted and on-demand content. I know it will be an awesome conference, even though it is going to be quite different. There will be no quick lunches with colleagues. No fun meetups in the trade show. No alumni events. And no going to the bourbon bar or a new brewery.

There are always architects at library conferences. Last year one firm was handing out socks, while talking to NYLA participants, which is where I got these above. And of course, there are always companies that create library software.  In super hindsight, I wish we had asked all of them about the things that have become important this year:

  • How does your software support a library that needs to become completely virtual in the blink of an eye?
  • How does your software support remote library staff?
  • How can a library with open architecture pivot to something less "open"? 
  • What advice would you give your clients on making that wonderful library you designed become the physical space they need during a pandemic?

I don't think there are any architects speaking doing the conference, but it would be interesting hear what advice they have for libraries. Perhaps they could tell us how their designs are changing based on this pandemic. And for those involved in digital libraries, it would be interesting to hear what they are thinking about now. This pandemic isn't over, so it would be good to know what they are all thinking and doing. 

By the way, NYLA is Nov. 5-6.  I'm hope to post several blog posts about the event before it is over.

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