May 22, 2022

Report from Harvard’s Library Test Kitchen 2013 Open House

Note: We’ve shared a few items about the “Library Test Kitchen” (an advanced seminar at the Harvard Graduate School of Design) earlier this year and also about one year ago. Links to these posts are found at the bottom of this post.

The following report provides a look at some of the student projects that were featured at the Fall 2013 Library Test Kitchen open house.

From the Harvard Gazette:

The course is a seminar about thinking up and making up new stuff, while shaking up normal conceptions of the traditional library. “The motivation is to get students really looking into the library and its future,” said course co-instructor Jeff Goldenson, a designer at the Harvard Library Innovation Lab. He said one aim of the course was “fun” and another was “interestingness.” Helping Goldenson this fall were Loeb Library Director Ann WhitesideJessica Yurkofsky, MUP ’12; and Jeffrey Schnapp, director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Schnapp is also the author, with colleague Matthew Battles, of the forthcoming “The Library Beyond the Book.” [Clip] Ben Ruswick, a M.Arch.-I student, joined two other students to design a 4-by-4-foot outdoor library: 25 linear feet of used books under a hydrophobic roof, complete with shelves, chair, and reading lamp. Above will be a camera taking periodic stills that may stream onto the Web. “We’re interested in the idea that people associate libraries with structures to hold books,” and then shaking up that idea, he said. “This whole course is about re-thinking.” Hong agreed, and seconded another observation Ruswick had: that the Library Test Kitchen shakes loose levels of creativity that are helpful, especially for a student working on a final thesis. “The great thing about the class,” she said, “is there was a lot of freedom.”

Read the Complete Article Includes a look at several projects.

See Also: Direct to Library Test Kitchen Web Site

See Also: The Boston Globe Takes a Look at Harvard’s Library Test Kitchen (June 16, 2013)

See Also: Harvard Design School Class “Experiments” with Library of the Future (December 13, 2012)

See Also: The Harvard Labrary: A Design Experiment in Library Futures (December 13, 2012)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.