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Designing Libraries for the 21st Century

Vice Provost and University Librarian Mimi Calter has authored a chapter in Designing Libraries for the 21st Century. The book, published in September 2022 by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), is co-edited by H. Thomas Hickerson, Joan K. Lippincott, and Leonora Crema.

Cover of Book

Designing Libraries explores new trends and shifts in college and research libraries driven by transformations “in the core functions of universities and colleges.”  The volume introduces library design from the perspectives of institutional vision and priorities, planning and architecture, campus collaborations, workforce and organizational change, integration of digital tools and technologies, and more. “This book provides guidance, principles, and a wealth of creative ideas for academic library spaces, technology, programs, and partnerships,” ACRL wrote in its news release. 

Calter’s chapter, “Reimagining Special Collections,” explores the evolving role and functions of special collections and the integration of technology with the traditional space of special collections. The essay, which emphasizes technological adaptation and the importance of increasing accessibility and inclusion, which can be challenging while addressing special collections concerns, is grounded in a case study of Stanford Libraries’ David Rumsey Map Center. Calter, who served as deputy university librarian at Stanford before joining Washington University, analyzes the development of the new space that combined “the technology and the physical infrastructure to enable the most effective use of both digital materials and archival collections.” 

Designing Libraries is available for purchase in print through the American Library Association online store and It is also available as an open access edition