Space is always a concern in libraries.  In the days of print domination, information professionals were concerned about constraints.  In the age of collaboration, we want to be sure to have the right furniture and accessories to accommodate technology and its users.

These concerns may seem to have been less relevant in corporate and law firm settings but that is not necessarily the case.  While the driving forces about space concerns may have more to do with the cost of real estate than the actual use of the space, the library as a “hub”of activity in the halls of the for-profit world have always been of interest.

Back in my own days of dealing with a remodeling project, we lost square footage and thus made a big change to our linear foot storage.  The key was leaving space for the attorneys who used the space for research, writing, and informal conferencing.  The space was not designed specifically for collaboration but it was a consideration.

In a report from the Daily Report, “Kilpatrick Transforms Library Into Modern Collaboration Hub—With Latte” we get a glimpse of the continued evolution of law library space into today’s future forward firms. (Note: Subscription may be required for full-text.)

Academic libraries and their enthusiastic “hub” supporters are no longer the reigning patrons of the new library space.  With Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton’s transformation, lawyers and staff take advantage of the view and the “high-tech and welcoming collaborative space” that has transformed the former library to the new KT Hub.

Morrison & Foerster has also embraced the new model of future firm libraries.  In a July 2015, Welcome to the Loungebrary, Dewey B. Strategic post, Jean O’Grady introduces the MoFo Loungebrary.

As the post states:

According to Kathy Skinner the Director of Research Services at Morrison & Foerster ” Our LA office move created the perfect opportunity to leave behind some of the vestiges of the library of yesterday, including the cavernous space tucked away on a non-attorney floor, the enormous but unused reference desk, and the over-abundance of shelves, in favor of a well-traveled and attractive space that serves as a lounge, a library, a meeting area, and a party venue with fantastic 58thfloor views of downtown LA.

These space changes truly reflect the transformation of purpose in corporate and firm settings.  Library resources are available electronically now more than ever, and  that change continues.  Space is an important commodity. Using it to spark ideas, solve problems  and enhance collaboration reflects just how the world of work has and continues to transform.

Do you know of other corporate libraries that have undergone similar changes?  I’d love to hear from you!

Traditional law firm and corporate libraries feel the pressure to transform from just in case to collaborative activity hub.

Constance Ard
Answer Maven
April 20, 2016