The International Symposium on “The New Academic Library Space in the 21st Century” | Duke Kunshan University

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

The International 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. 


At the symposium, there will be paper presentations and several posters that touch upon key issues in the design and development of today’s academic libraries in the world.  We will have interested academic library managers, researchers of library space design, and architects with experiences in designing academic libraries from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and the United States. They will 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, IT, and Furniture

  • Undergraduate learning experience
  • Mobile learning and online learning facility
  • Multi-media facility
  • Ubiquitous learning and information access
  • IT infrastructure in library design
  • Furniture for a modern library
  • Use of library technology in space design

The Symposium will be conducted in English with simultaneous Chinese translation.