Veterans Day is a great opportunity to listen to Grand Valley State University’s Veterans History Project videos. West Michigan male and female veterans – including Grand Rapids Junior College / Community College alums – shared their military experiences first-hand with interviewers. These are excellent examples of primary resource materials.
For many years, and continuing today, oral historians at GVSU’s History Department have recorded interviews that are part of the larger Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project. They “collect memories, accounts, and documents of U.S. war veterans from World War II and the Korean War, Vietnam War, and conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere, and … preserve these stories for future generations.”
A few weeks ago I attended the Michigan Library Association Conference. Two of the most interesting sessions were on library design and what are a few of the expectations have towards building design. With more people becoming technologically savvy and e-books and databases being more popular, it is important to re-evaluate the needs of the population. Here at GRCC, we have numerous e-books, e-journals, and databases full of great information that is both historic and recent. We also have SubjectGuides to help guide you in research. Students use the library for both quiet and group study along with tutoring services that are offered. Libraries may still be predominantly about books, but as mentioned above it is so much more.
Libraries are adjusting to the needs of the communities in different ways. New libraries like Grand Valley State University’s Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons will focus on the learning experience of the student and not just information. Kent District Library recently changed their collection from Dewey Decimal to a bookstore model, making it more browser friendly than before for patrons. One library that was mentioned was making plans about temporary spaces in communities to assist technological needs of the community. All these changes are meant to be user friendly and supportive of the communities. To see what other libraries have done with design, check out these articles from American Library Association and WebUrbanist (an old Walmart is now a mega-library!).
To learn more about architecture and libraries, come on in and visit us!