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Beyond books: the concept of the academic library as learning space

Lee Fallin (University of Hull, Hull, UK)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 9 May 2016




The paper aims to explore the issues surrounding the user conceptualisation of academic libraries. The paper will solidify the role of academic libraries as learning spaces and problematise how libraries are conceptualised by users.


The paper is a literature-based conceptual paper and draws on a wide range of literature to challenge the concept of academic libraries and presents how they are becoming reframed as different spaces.


The paper argues that the concept of a library is at risk. While libraries have undergone substantial changes, the concept of a library has lingered. This paper demonstrated that libraries need to proactively engage users in this debate.


The spatial approach taken by this paper demonstrates the complicity behind the user conceptualisation of libraries. Developing an understanding of this process is an important foundation for libraries to develop their user engagement.



Fallin, L. (2016), "Beyond books: the concept of the academic library as learning space", New Library World, Vol. 117 No. 5/6, pp. 308-320.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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