• Collections Are For Collisions: Designing It Into the Experience

      Bell, Steven; 0000-0003-3916-4013 (2014-09)
      Who among us has never known, however trivial, a serendipitous discovery. More essentially, nearly every librarian has heard at some point in his or her career someone's story about a serendipitous encounter with a book. As a profession we are likely in agreement that serendipitous discovery in the library stacks is a good thing. Think of it as collision with our collections. As our collections become more digital and less tangible, as we move them off the stacks and into onsite or remote storage, and as students spend more time touching keyboards and less time connecting with texts, how likely is it that future patrons will have such experiences. What's odd about the impending decline of this type of engagement is that in other industrial sectors, the very act of serendipity is being engineered into the workflow. Librarians, on the other hand, appear to be excising serendipity out of the library experience. If we believe there is value in the act of serendipity, then it is our responsibility to design the library experience to save it. Adapted from the source document.