For immediate release | January 25, 2016

ACRL releases Encoding Space: Shaping Learning Environments that Unlock Human Potential

CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the publication of “Encoding Space: Shaping Learning Environments that Unlock Human Potential.”

Can we create library environments that inspire people to be more creative, collaborative, reflective, or engaged? That is the driving question of this imaginative new book authored by Brian Mathews of the Virginia Tech Libraries. “Encoding Space” weaves elements together from architecture, psychology, retail, neuroscience, and many other disciplines in this narrative about the evolution of library buildings. Re-conceptualizing libraries as showrooms, studios, salons, and boutiques, some new directions are outlined for discussion about the future. Mathews encourages you and your team to look beyond the functional value of your facility, and to consider how libraries can also serve as an experimental landscape that helps foster well-being and personal growth.

Featuring drawings and renderings from interior designer Leigh Ann Soistmann, “Encoding Space” is ideal for librarians and campus administrators looking to spark their creative thinking and push strategic conversations about the purpose, value, and future of library buildings.

"Encoding Space: Shaping Learning Environments that Unlock Human Potential" is available for purchase in print through the ALA Online Store and; and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.


The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.


David Free

Marketing and Communications Specialist