English Title

The Evol. of Func.&Des. of Spaces in Acad. Libr. through Dig. Era


Academic Library, Digital Library, Digital Era, Learning resource center, space, Function, technology, ICT, study pods, group pods


Architectural History and Criticism | Architectural Technology | Architecture | Interior Architecture


Along with technology development in all fields of contemporary life, activities come development regarding architectural requirements. The functions, spaces usage, types of buildings, etc. have changed. Certain architectural elements and spaces have disappeared while other functions have either disappeared or been minimized. The change has also exceeded the architectural level to the urban level, affecting the urban planning elements, sizes, and decision-making processes.

Developments in technology exert a great influence on communication as well as data entry, saving, and archiving; which, in return, has had a direct impact on libraries’ spaces, operating systems, functions, and user types. As a result, the traditional space requirements and old architectural theories should be revised.

This research aims to study the theoretical requirements of architectural academic libraries and the implications of technology development for spaces, functions, and types of users in the last ten years, through analyzing ten university libraries that were recently established in Europe and the USA that use the latest technologies. The outcome is applied to a case study: the architectural academic library of Beirut Arab University on Debbieh campus. The research finds that physical libraries will not be replaced by digital libraries easily, although the extensive use of technology has led to continuous changes in library spaces. The technological revolution in the field of mobile phones and applications which facilitated the accessibility of information and the possibility of searching and indexing has boosted the trend in changing library collections from physical to digital phenomena. In addition, the ideas of shared spaces and Pop-up Campuses, where libraries are completely virtual and universities are without boundaries, will also affect these traditional library-related theories.

It is hoped that the results and recommendations will assist the development of a new approach and method regarding library design, which may consequently affect university buildings design, especially since the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing us toward social distancing and online applications.



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