Locating the place of the academic library in the current socio-political, economic environment is a fraught task. Being able to visualize library function in the future is even more difficult. The three concepts of maintaining perspective, creating context and building connections serve to anchor this presentation. Informed by the writings of John Stilgoe, Keller Easterling, James Scott, and related library literature, this presentation locates these three concepts in two different metaphors. The first is that of a giant; the second that of the ant. These metaphorical views provide and are dependent upon perspective, context, and connection. Employing the giant and the ant offers opportunity to engage examples from landscape studies, space studies, and cultural studies in order to illustrate why libraries must think both like the giant and the ant. Theory and history, as realized in shared vision of the giant and the ant, engage the constantly changing nature of things in order to work meaningfully and actively within that environment. Locating perspective, context, and connection in discussions of library futures generates a rich and thought-provoking engagement with seeing, hearing, and interacting with the past and present.
McGinniss, J. (2017). Walk the Future like a Landscape: Theorizing an Interdisciplinary Approach. Urban Library Journal, 23 (2). Retrieved from http://academicworks.cuny.edu/ulj/vol23/iss2/4