This is my workspace. It's messy, I know, but the key thing is that my main "desktop" is on the screens. The physical workspace is primarily for setting things down, not for working.
Basically, everything happens on these screens -- I search, I read, I write, I converse (both text and voice). I can't imagine doing my work without the Internet. So I find myself in a dilemma when I go to the library, because I am cut off from my "place of work." I go into the stacks, perhaps with a scribbled note containing a call number, and I stand in front of shelves with fewer capabilities than I have in my own home office. If I don't find the book I want I can't check to see if I wrote the call number correctly; I can't look to see if there's a "second best" book that I'd like; I can't determine if there's another area of the stacks where I might find something else I'd like to read; and I can't search within the text of the bound volumes in front of me, even if digitized versions do happen to be available on-line. I stand there wishing I could go on-line.
Essentially, going into the library means leaving behind my ability to find. Yes, there are a few computers in the stacks, but they are too far away to make it possible to be usefully on-line and at the shelf at the same time.
Libraries made a great effort to get on-line and to reach out to users beyond their walls. What we haven't done, however, is to combine the on-shelf and on-line resources in a useful way. It makes sense to me that I should be able to stand amid bound journal volumes and do a keyword search. Or that I could pull a book off the shelf, see a citation, and check to see if the library has that item.
What would make this possible? First, many more access points within the physical stacks. Access to the catalog or other resources shouldn't be more than a few steps away. Heck, find a way to tie down one of those $100 computers at the end of each row, or create a place where a user can easily lean their laptop (and have the wireless access reach within the shelves). Instead of telling people to turn off their cell phones, remind them that if they have net access they can combine the power of the library's catalog, the library's on-line resources, and the items on the shelves. Encourage people to work with physical and digital resources together. If I could do that, I'd spend more time in the library.