Kasian, one of the leading 100 architecture, interior design and planning firms in the world, announces its participation in a major international conference examining the role of the library in the digital age. The event is being held this week at the University of Calgary’s Taylor Family Digital Library (TFDL).
Regarded as the most technologically-advanced student library in North America, the Kasian-designed TFDL will bring together librarians, architects, planners, designers, technologists and educators from across North America to explore the trends and concepts shaping the evolution and design of contemporary libraries and specialized learning centres. The three-day conference, entitled “Designing Libraries for the 21st Century,” runs from May 16 to 18, and will include presentations by leading thinkers and planners, including Kasian Principals Bill Chomik and Lois Wellwood, demonstrations of cutting-edge library technology and tours of the facility. Tom Hickerson is the Vice Provost (Libraries and Cultural Resources), at the University of Calgary: “The TFDL is at the cutting-edge of the digital revolution, facilitating new ways for students to engage, learn, communicate and play. We are delighted with the international interest that this conference has generated, and look forward to the discussion on how next-generation learning resource centres will shape the future of learning.”
The TFDL is a unique convergence of libraries, historical archives, arts galleries, scholarly publishing and student academic support services. Opened in October 2011, the six-storey 24,000 m² (265,000 ft² ) facility is the University of Calgary’s largest single expansion in its 41 year history. The building is organised by sound to actively support different types of study, from collaborative to contemplative. The ground, second and third floors include the Learning Commons and café area for brainstorming and group discussions. The upper floors house most of the books and have a conventional, contemplative feel suitable for individual learning. Approximately 12,000 people per day now experience the TFDL, either in person or through digital browsing.
Lois Wellwood, the Principal In Charge of Interior Design for the TFDL, believes that this dynamic facility is redefining the notion of what constitutes a modern library. Her presentation to conference delegates will examine how design provides a positive and dynamic mechanism for progressive change: “At Kasian, we see architecture as a powerful tool with which to influence the human experience. The TFDL responds to the demands and challenges of the digital age by creating a space where students can work anywhere, but learn and engage everywhere. We are delighted to be given the opportunity to share our thoughts on innovation in library design with this prestigious international audience.”