|Dr Martin Luther King Jr Library entrance|
In San Jose, however, there is more integration and the library actually has an entrance facing the city and an entrance facing the university. This, no doubt, is to increase inclusion, an issue raised when we considered how this format would be received in Cambridge. We felt that there may be a Town vs. Gown issue as there tends to be.
We touched on several interesting points such as the importance of the geographical positioning of a joint library and whether that could affect the users. We also considered the benefit of having the specialism of an academic library together with a more general public library since many books can be too general for academia but too specialised for public use and so would fit perfectly in this amalgamated service. The funding structure may prove an issue here, however.
I was particularly interested in the point that funding may be more readily available for an institution labelling itself as 'Higher Education' rather than 'Public Library.' Depending on regional councils and their structure, libraries can lose out on funding due to their educational counterparts and so this joint approach may prevent such issues.
I feel that I have written way more than enough on this subject and I still haven't covered all that was discussed. It really was most interesting, especially since there were librarians present from all kinds of libraries and backgrounds all with their own individual take on the issues.