A library is a place for discovery. But libraries in schools are often filled with dusty books and journals and are more popular as a space to study than a place to learn and discover. How can we change business school libraries into powerful learning opportunities for students and not just a space with a lot of old books (that you can find online anyways)?
The Future MBA library will be a central part of the MBA experience for students, not just as a space to take out books or to study quietly, but more importantly as a space to learn how to discover and to have conversations on a variety of topics. Courses will take place in the library teaching students how to find and filter information in an environment that is increasingly overflowing with it. Collections will be brought to life, curated by students themselves, faculty, guest business leaders and the community to feature certain topics, themes or educate about current events. The library will include event spaces, writing areas, conversation areas and becomes the place where students go when they aren’t in class.
Books will be taken out of the shelves, spread on tables covers exposed to encourage students to take one, sit down and flick through it. Platforms will help students explore online information in more focused ways. The Librarians will become the best known individuals on the campus, not only knowledgeable about how to help you find information you are looking for, but gifted at introducing students to information they never knew they needed.
The world is feeling the loss of brick and mortar book stores. Perhaps by exploring how to create an engaging space of discovery in business schools, these schools can play a role in bringing back the love of libraries and book stores, and shift the perceptions of the thousands of business managers and leaders that graduate every year.