Using library space for community events

Sam Jacobs
December 17, 2015

To increase community engagement with the Libraries, it's important that the spaces in which the Libraries are housed feel welcoming. In order to facilitate feelings of comfort in the Libraries, I propose that the Libraries encourage student groups and others to use library space for community gatherings, speakers, art exhibitions, and other uses. The library can feel like a mono-purpose space, which demands a certain industriousness, seriousness, quietness, etc. That univocality of purpose occludes all the many ways that people can interact with the variegated resources in the Libraries. Opening up the doors of the library spaces is an important move to engage community members in the production, dissemination, exploration of knowledge that the library allows.

Why do you care about library spaces, collections, and services?: 

MIT has an incredibly rich collection of items, but it's not always obvious how to access them. Figuring out the protocols of access requires a certain comfort in the Libraries that can be difficult to muster. In my last semester at MIT, I've had the privilege of looking at a variety of fascinating objects in MIT's collection, which has expanded the way I think about texts and communication, and was really enjoyable as well. I want my peers to know about all the great artists' books in Rotch, the fascinating historical documents in the Special Collections, the musical artifacts in Lewis, etc.