When did library stacks open?
January 20, 2012 10:05 AM Subscribe
My university has a relatively large number of libraries. The oldest ones were obviously designed to have closed stacks. In other words, a patron would submit a request for a particular book to the staff who would, in turn, retrieve it from the stacks and deliver it to the patron. The newest library with that design opened circa the 1930s. Then, at some point, library architecture philosophy changed and campus libraries built in the 1970s and later were obviously designed to have open stacks. The older libraries have been converted to open use. Library science and architecture types, I ask you: When did this change, which appears on my experience to be a nearly universal characteristic of library design, occur? And why?