Symposium Announcement | Duke Kunshan University

Symposium Announcement

The Symposium on “The New Academic Library Space in the 21st Century”

October 27-28, 2016

Duke Kunshan University

Kunshan, Jiangsu, China


The library is the center of learning and research in all universities. It is also the basis for academic endeavors and scholarly exchange. For centuries, academic libraries have generally been designed first and foremost as places to collect, access, and preserve print collections. Their grandiose and magnificent exteriors have been landmarks at many academic institutions around the world. However, with the role of libraries shifting from being repositories of collections to the place where learners and researchers meet, collaborate, and interact in learning and knowledge discovery, traditional library buildings are increasingly challenged today for their inability to cope with the rapidly-changing needs of their clienteles. They are found to be inadequate to deal with the multi-faceted user needs, technology-enabled navigation, and new storage requirements, both physical and virtual, of the 21st century. The importance of the library as place is more evident than ever. Therefore it is critical for us to conduct an environmental scan of the major trends and considerations in designing a state-of-the-art academic library building in the new century.  


We cordially invite papers, posters, and panels that touch upon key issues in the design and development of today’s academic libraries.  We encourage interested academic library managers, researchers of library space design, and architects with experiences in designing academic libraries to explore the following issues:

Theme One:  Designing academic library: the programmatic aspects

  • Functional requirements of a library on a research campus
  • Programmatic elements in the design of a library
  • User space vs. staff space
  • Exemplary case studies of a library design and development from scratch

Theme Two:  Trends in academic library space design: the architectural aspects

  • Architectural trends in library space design
  • Current architectural approaches to library space
  • Evaluation of library space
  • Art + design

Theme Three:  The Learning Commons

  • Undergraduate learning experience
  • Mobile learning and online learning facility
  • Multi-media facility
  • Ubiquitous learning and information access

Theme Four:  IT and furniture

  • IT infrastructure in library design
  • Furniture for a modern library
  • Use of library technology in space design

Important Deadlines

The symposium will accept papers, posters, or panel proposals in English. All paper abstracts, posters, or panel proposals must include the title, the author(s) or panel members, and details of current position, the institutional affiliation, phone number, and e-mail address for each author, or panelist. Papers should be original and not previously published. Posters may showcase successful library design projects. We also accept current and on-going projects. Please submit your paper/poster/panel proposal abstracts (300 words) via email to Dr. (Helen) Hong Xu at by April 30, 2016.

The deadline for confirming paper abstract acceptance and poster/panel presentation is May 31, 2016.  Full paper submission must be received no later than July 15, 2016. PowerPoint slides can be submitted in lieu of full papers. Well-researched papers will have the opportunity to be published in a post-symposium proceeding. 

Conference Registration and Accommodations

The registration fee will be RMB 450.00.  Registration charge will cover two coffee/tea breaks, one off-campus dinner, and one working lunch on-site.

All attendees will stay in the Conference Center on Duke Kunshan campus. 

The Symposium Organizing Committee


  • (Helen) Hong Xu, University Librarian, Duke Kunshan University; Associate University Librarian for Duke Kunshan Library Services at Duke University


  • Robert Byrd, Associate University Librarian for Collections and User Services, Duke University Libraries


  • Jianxin Gu, University Librarian, Southeast University Library
  • Peter Zhou, AUL and Director of C. V. Starr East Asian Library, University of California, Berkeley
  • Qiang Zhu, University Librarian, Peking University Library

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