The Life of the Mind: A Study of Faculty Spaces in Academic Libraries

Debra Engel, Karen Antell

Abstract

The value of the academic library as “place” in the university community has recently been debated in the popular and scholarly library literature, but the debate centers on student use of library space rather than faculty use. This study addresses the issue of faculty use of library space by investigating the use of “faculty spaces”—individual, enclosed, lock-able carrels or studies—through a series of interviews with faculty space holders at the University of Oklahoma and a survey of ARL libraries. Both elements of the investigation show that faculty spaces are heavily used and highly valued by faculty members, especially those in the social sciences and humanities. The researchers present the results of the interviews and the survey, and explore the reasons for the continuing value of faculty spaces in the age of electronic information.

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