Reevaluating Space and Place in Academic Libraries


  • Kaeli Nieves-Whitmore University of Alabama
  • Dr. Miriam E. Sweeney University of Alabama



Space, Place, Topophilia, affect


The concepts of space and place as they relate to libraries has been a popular topic of discussion in Library and Information Science (LIS) literature for decades. In that time, libraries have been heralded as spaces and places of discovery, safety, escape, fear, control, wonder, community, learning, work, and relaxation among many other designations. Focusing on academic libraries specifically, the presenters explore the ways we have thought about academic libraries as spaces and places in the past in LIS and ask what is missing from the conversation. Through a critical analysis of the extant literature in two prominent LIS scholarly databases, the presenters first seek to answer the question, “How has space and place been framed in academic library literature?” Based on the findings of the initial analysis and the gaps identified, the presenters then ask, “What perspectives or frameworks could potentially address existing gaps in the literature?” Of particular interest is the affective relationship between people and the spaces in which they function and how better understanding of such relationships can deepen our understanding of academic libraries as spaces and places.






Works in Progress Posters