Library home pages and digital library sites have many properties and purposes in common with the Baroque wall-system libraries of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe. Like their Baroque antecedents, contemporary library Web sites exploit the moment of entrance and the experience of the threshold to create and sustain the illusion of a "three-dimensional world enclosed by a frame" (Lev Manovich). Now, as then, this other world is crafted to be an aesthetically inviting representation of the vast, complex - and potentially intimidating - abstraction that is library space. Unlike Baroque libraries, however, which were static simulations, computer-mediated interactivity allows the modern electronic library to "morph" based on user input, opening the door to new methods for matching user needs with library resources. The new visual culture of the electronic library combines the universal, panoptical view afforded by the Baroque library with synoptic views on library collections derived from real-time user-computer interaction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Library and Information Sciences