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Thumbs Up for Tech at Seattle Public Library

The stuffy elevators don’t wow this reporter, but “as far as the library’s technology is concerned, it’s thumbs up.” See . I predict that with a little clever marketing, use of wi-fi will follow, when (if?) users and area visitors realize SPL is a gigantic hotspot.

I like the reporter’s fantasy of a wi-fi lounge. Now I’m curious to see whether SPL has any of those cozy characteristics I dream about for library services. Sometimes “grand” gets in the way of “comfy.”

I also understand how space constraints limit “terminal” area when you’re building new libraries, but I have a few thoughts about the statement that “from what the library can tell, most surfers are not doing the kind of research that would require desk space.” Maybe… but some night this week I’m off to a database work session at UC Berkeley (since they offer are a number of databases I can’t access from any public library I have cards for, remotely or otherwise), and I’m grimly prepared for the universal library experience of sitting face-forward into an ugly cubicle that will make my reasonably petite, small-boned body feel as big as Hagrid (an ugly and claustrophobic cubicle in a room of sweeping space and beauty, no less). I fear that user comfort is a victim of square-foot-costs. It may also be that we aren’t supposed to get comfortable in these work sessions.

And the key question: are the computing areas latte-friendly?

At any rate, if Marilyn Sheck was involved, it has to be good. I bet SPL is offering the very best they could afford for what is ever a moving target.

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