Because all of our library staff people were out for various reasons today I covered the library for them. In the eight hours I sat there, I had an actual, library-relevant conversation with exactly one person who came in to look for a couple of books. I don't know if this is a typical day in the library, since I haven't worked there since I was an intern two years ago, but it was somewhat disheartening. In our new building, the cafe space has become the central staff gathering place, where people go to eat lunch, do some work away from their desks, or just have informal meetings. This space is bright and airy, with lots of tables, a nice view, and a few plants. The library, by contrast, is dark and feels a bit claustrophobic, and isn't a particularly welcoming place. It's so rare these days to even have a physical library that it seems like such a waste that it's not being very well used. I fear that this may lead to a downward spiral of library gets less appealing space > library gets used less > argument is made to move library to even less appealing space > lather, rinse, repeat.
(Bonus points to anyone who recognizes the source for this post title.)