Library Facilities Planning, Purpose, and Position
Use of Space • What/how much do we know of how our space is used? • What do we want/need to know about use of space? • What metrics/measures do we rely on for studying our space? • Do the ways in which patrons use the library vary by location within the facility (e.g., are the people using traditional library resources and the people using the library for other reasons using the same areas of the library or different areas)?
Studying the Use of Space • Unobtrusive observation • Sweeping studies • GIS mapping • Surveys
Conceptualizations of Library • View One • Patron transaction is central • Library focus on information goods & control • Role is gatekeeper • Success measured in investments and inputs • View Two • Patron is customer • Library focus service and connection • Role is assistant and guide • Success measured in activities and outputs
Conceptualizations of Library • View Three • Patron is guest, focus on experience • Library goals is collaboration • Role is partner • Success measured by impacts or outcomes- what happens as a result of interaction with library? • the user experience grounded in the library as place suggests the need to examine the value-added proposition of the role of the library in the life of the intellectual community that is the basis for the modern residential campus - Charles Forrest
Spatial Definitions • Group learning spaces- spaces where students take control and responsibility for their own learning. Spaces not designed for delivery of library services or teaching. • Information commons- designed for the delivery of services and instruction, but with the intent to foster active participation and independent learning.
Space Planning Questions • What is it about the Learning that will Happen in this Space that Compels us to Build a Bricks and Mortar Learning Space, rather than Rely on a Virtual One? • How Might this Space be Designed to Encourage Students to Spend More Time Studying and Studying More Productively? • For What Position on the Spectrum from Isolated Study to Collaborative Study Should this Learning Space be Designed?
Space Planning Questions • How Will Claims to Authority Over Knowledge be Managed by the Design of this Space? What will this Space Affirm About the Nature of Knowledge (i.e. transfer or construction of knowledge)? • Should this Space be Designed to Encourage Student/Teacher Exchanges Outside of the Classroom? • How Might this Space Enrich Educational Experiences?
Characteristics of Preferred Study Spaces • Convenience: availability of materials and resources, necessary space to work, parking • Comfort: physical comfort, food & drink, being able to listen to music, ability to take breaks • Quiet: freedom from distraction, silence, stillness
Redesigning Academic Libraries Today • Plan/arrange the stacks to make more room for the technology roles, such as multimedia production once reserved for media services area • Collections could be found in: • Browsable stacks • Compact shelving • Automated retrieval system in inaccessible stacks (use the OPAC to browse …) • Remote storage
Redesigning Academic Libraries Today • Want electrical power everywhere: walls, seats, etc. • Computer labs • Network jacks throughout; wireless access where wire is not feasible • Let students use technology from any seat in the library • Library instruction areas • Faculty technology training areas
Secondary Questions • Operations and processes- layout and arrangement of workspace • Human factors engineering • Way-finding
Design Approaches Creating Space
Information Commons • New type of physical facility specifically designed to organize workspace and service delivery around the integrated digital environment • Coordinated and extended set of study and workspaces offering an array of options from traditional individual study to collaborative conference areas • New importance of a general information and referral desk, which functions as first point of contact and general help center
Information/Learning Commons • Sees technology changes as a service and pedagogical issue • Offers students and faculty facilities and instructional support for mastering new technologies • Relies on a new degree of collaboration between libraries (instruction/information literacy) and IT (user support) and Media (production) • May also student tutoring and/or faculty development- Yields a collaborative learning environment in a learning organization
Information/Learning Commons • Often involve some restructuring: • Cross-training- evidence suggests librarians need more substantive training in technology, while IT requires training in service • Reporting structure- changes reported in about 30% of cases, with only 4 institutions reporting a merging of library and IT. • “Substantial” to high level of collaboration necessary for success
Information/Learning Commons • A flexible work space that responds to rapidly-changing needs of a highly demanding user community • An array of technological options for the identification, retrieval, processing (productivity), and presentation of information in a variety of formats • According to Bennett, a “service innovation” that builds on traditional library roles of service, access, and instruction
Marketing Design • Seeks to understand and respond to patron needs and preferences- regards information users as consumers • Design plans often start with staff needs • Instead, learn more about what students want, how they learn, how faculty teach, etc.
Marketing Design • In general… • Only 1/3 of students use the library with any frequency and • Most frequent use of the library is for quiet study or use of computers- are not intrinsic to the library • Students’ preference is for early morning and late night hours, comfortable seating, and food.
Marketing Design • With above knowledge, must decide who to respond to in designing space: • The 1/3 that already use the library? • Or should/can we plan design that moves us closer to the other 2/3? • Is this either/or?
Mission-based Approach • May insist on students as learners above all else (i.e. rather than information consumers) • Design should be primarily concerned not with services but with learning • Focus not on professional intentions of staff or preferences/behaviors of patrons but rather on institutional mission of bringing together students, faculty, and staff together.
Mission-based Approach • Document learning behaviors in order to decide if they support mission • Develop spaces to support these learning behaviors
Dealing with Loss of Space • Library represents “prime real estate” • Loss of space may result in • Forced weeding • More focused collection development • Converting to electronic subscriptions • Off-site storage (policy/service considerations)
Dealing with Loss of Space Negative outcomes Positive Outcomes Resistance to change/ impact on morale Loss of functional area (i.e. group rooms, shelves, office space) Repurposed space may= more traffic/centrality of library Renovations may result in new equipment, updated facilities, more professional “look.” Chance to revisit mission and outcomes
Green Libraries • Immediate changes: • Electronic subscriptions/ collections • Digital record keeping • Energy efficient electronics • Reusing and recycling • Renovations might include • Solar/ geothermal heating and cooling • Water conservation devices • Eco-friendly engineering
References • Geographic Information Systems: Tools for Displaying In-Library Use Data.By: Mandel, Lauren H.. Information Technology & Libraries, Mar2010, Vol. 29 Issue 1, p47-52, 6p, 1 Diagram, 2 Maps; (AN 48049879) • Academic Libraries as Learning Spaces: Library Effectiveness and the User ExperienceForrest, CharlesGeorgia Library Quarterly, vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 7-10, Summer 2009 • Bennett, S. First Questions for Designing Higher Education Learning Spaces. The Journal of Academic Librarianship v. 33 no. 1 (January 2007) p. 14-26
References • Bennett, S. Designing for Uncertainty: Three Approaches. The Journal of Academic Librarianship v. 33 no. 2 (March 2007) p. 165-79