Friday, September 14, 2007

Be still my beating heart

This website came to my attention via one of the listserves I subscribe to. This website features pictures of some of the world's most beautiful libraries. Melbourne library nerds will no doubt be very heartened to see that the State Library of Victoria, with its magnificently restored domed reading room, made the list. Maybe one day I'll get to work in a library as elaborately designed as those on this site. This isn't very likely, at least not in my particular branch of librarianship, but I'm allowed to dream, aren't I? In a design philosophy which seems partially influenced by the Panopticon, which was devised in the late 18th century by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham, I particularly like the idea of a circular shaped library building, with an elevated service desk located in the middle. Used widely in prisons, the idea of the Panopticon was to regulate the conduct of inmates by creating the illusion that they were under constant surveillance from a guard post. With the addition of survelliance cameras, this would be ideal for supervising patron activity, and minimising collection security issues. Creating a climate of paranoia would be the ideal theft deterrant.


anniemareerose said...

hehe, thanks for the comment rosco. We have one of the worlds most aesthetically pleasing libraries in the world? Thats exciting i suppose, im a little disgruntled with the vic library though, because I banged my head on the locker doors and then in a confused state left without collecting my $19 change from the ticket machine thing.. bahhh!

James Garth said...

Actually, my aunt happens to work at the State Library and would be most interested in this nerdy little tidbit of information. I'll have to let her know that our own SLV has earned such an auspicious honor.

Ross McPhee said...

Those lockers are frustrating. I never use them. Apart from that, the SLV does some great work, apart from their staff complaining about being underpaid.