A Brief Introduction

So what are library patterns?  A combination of Christopher Alexander’s pattern languages and James Burke’s connections, applied to library functions and services.  Speaking of Alexander’s oeuvre, Wikipedia writes:

The work originated from an observation that many medieval cities are attractive and harmonious. The authors said that this occurs because they were built to local regulations that required specific features, but freed the architect to adapt them to particular situations.

There are two aspects in this description that are particularly apropos when defining library patterns: freedom within form, and the creative adaptation of historical precedent.

Freedom Within Form

It’s a zen thing.

Creative Adaptation

Libraries are undergoing rapid and significant changes in adapting to the modern world. Finding inspiration in the past, but not being bound by that past, may help inspire new development and a renewed confidence in the missions and work of libraries and librarians.

What This Site Will Cover

Library patterns are an interdisciplinary subject, and so the posts on this site will be similarly wide-ranging, from the history of libraries, to user experience design, to human psychology, and many other points as yet unexplored. My goal is to develop a robust framework for use by a wide spectrum of library practitioners, whether they be librarians, library school students, or engaged patrons.


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