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Alina Wandelt & Thomas Schmidt-Lux: Infinite Expansion, Unlimited Access, Encompassing Comfort. An Analysis of the Effects of Digitalization in Libraries after 1995. [Abstract]

The objective of the paper is an analysis of the temporal patterns of digitalization. Looking at a specific field, the built environment, and a specific architectural typology, libraries, we ask what has changed in library architecture after 1995 and what types of patterns of progression are evident in this context. Up close, digitalization exhibits more nuanced changes than the catch-all-term suggests. We propose three phases of digitalization: (1) a phase revolving around infinite expansion (1995–2005), (2) a phase revolving around unlimited access (2005–2015), and (3) a phase concerned with encompassing comfort (after 2015). With regard to these refiguration processes, we identify both trajectories, turning points and cyclical patterns. Our study highlights the importance of empirical studies and time-sensitive social research in the context of studies on the digital age.

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