It’s been a really exciting semester working with MSR Design on the feasibility study for Davidson’s “library of the future” project. As we wrap up our last meetings and await the final report from MSR, I’ve been reflecting on the importance of library programming (our services, resources, and everything we do) driving the design of the space– versus the space driving programming. It can be difficult to communicate the why of design if you do not have the programming in place to support the decisions that are being proposed. Yes, it can be challenging to get the programming up to full speed when there are space constraints that keep you from maximizing what it is you are trying to do, but it is critical to not “wait on the space” to drive the programming. Perhaps that means implementing a mini-version of what that program could “grow up to be”– as in the case of our Research & Design Studio support center or our new capsule collection initiative (small displays of curated books connected to curricular and co-curricular activities on campus). Other examples of programming driving space might be more inclusive tutoring spaces…or a reimagined welcome desk…or flexible space to support our peer-consulting program…or gathering spaces designed to support a wider range of outreach events…or spaces dedicated to showcasing student scholarship or digital resources in more engaging ways. For us, we know that quiet space is a core service of the library that students greatly value, and so a larger quiet reading room is definitely in the cards for our library of the future, as is improved back-of-house spaces for processing of library materials. These are just a few of the examples taken from the work that has been done to date from our own project. I look forward to sharing a more detailed summary of the feasibility study — and the exciting ideas proposed based on our programming needs– in the months to come.