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Placemaking in the Academic Law Library

Legal Reference Services Quarterly, Vol. 33, pages 157-190, 2014

33 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2013 Last revised: 18 Jun 2014

Lee F. Peoples

Oklahoma City University

Date Written: June 16, 2014


In recent years a number of factors have coalesced to shape the future of print collections held by academic law libraries. These factors include: declining acquisitions budgets, rapidly rising print subscription costs, duplication of print materials in online databases, student and faculty preferences for electronic resources, collaborative print retention projects, changes to the American Bar Association's Annual Questionnaire and Standards, calls to produce practice-ready graduates, and the repurposing of library space for other law school functions.

Many law libraries are now storing large portions of their print collections off-site, in compact shelving, or simply discarding them. Removing redundant print materials from library collections creates opportunities for innovative uses of library space. This article will explore the benefits of applying placemaking concepts in the academic law library. Placemaking has been described as the art and science of crafting spaces in ways that transcend their physical attributes and contribute to the well-being of the occupants. This article will examine how placemaking concepts can be used to integrate print and non-print resources, to showcase subject specific collections, to encourage serendipity and collaborative learning, to build community and connect students to a law school’s values and traditions, and achieve other goals.

Keywords: placemaking, academic law libraries, legal education

Suggested Citation

Peoples, Lee F., Placemaking in the Academic Law Library (June 16, 2014). Legal Reference Services Quarterly, Vol. 33, pages 157-190, 2014. Available at SSRN:

Lee Peoples (Contact Author)

Oklahoma City University ( email )

800 North Harvey Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
United States
405-208-6030 (Phone)

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