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Creating Library Spaces of the Future
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Creating Library Spaces of the Future


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Presentation given by LaTesha Velez from UNCG and Philip Cherry III from Onslow County Public Library.

Presentation given by LaTesha Velez from UNCG and Philip Cherry III from Onslow County Public Library.

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  • Modified an attribute list used in the Given & Leckie public library studyA total of 20 sweeps were completed over a two day period, Thursday April 22, 2010 and Tuesday, April 27, 2010. The first sweep began at 12:48 pm and the second at 11:16 am. These times and days were chosen because it was believed the library would be busy. 5 sweeps were conducted in the learning commons and 5 in the Special Collections on each dayDuring the sweeps, a total of 11 male and 9 female students were observed. All but one of the individuals observed appeared to be 25 or under. Only one appeared to be between 25-30. 2 males appeared to be engaged in group study (studying with at least one other person) although there was a third who was clearly sitting with another male (they were sitting at a computer work station together) but didn’t appear to be talking to the other person or looking at the computer screen. 4 females were observed engaging in group study, with one group using a white board. Most group study occurred in the learning commons with only one group of two females observed studying together in the Special Collections Reading Room.The most commonly performed activities in males were using a laptop, reading, and listening to an iPod or some other device (5 instances). Among females using a laptop was the most commonly observed activity (7 instances). At both times during the learning commons sweep there was a mixture of ethnicities. The individuals in the Special Collections Reading Room were predominantly white males and females. There appeared to be more women than men on both days. There were a few Asian students, and only one African American was seen on either day. That student was male. Overall it appeared that individual studying was occurring over group study and students were frequently multi-tasking, e.g. using a laptop while listening to an iPod.
  • Numbers in parentheses show the mean score (1: never;7: always)
  • Numbers in parentheses show the mean score (1:not at all important; 7:extremely important)
  • Observational studies have been used in malls, shopping centers for many years to observe customer patterns and behaviors.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Creating library spaces of the future
      LaTesha Velez
      Diversity Resident Librarian
    • 2. Perceptions
      The changing library
      The Deserted Library
      The rise of the social library
      The library as place
      Does the building still matter?
      Public sphere
      Communal model
      Social model
      The new library
      Library as a source of “context diversity”
      (Ibarra, 2001, 2005)
    • 3. Background
      How do patrons use academic libraries spatially?
      Are there differences?
      Learning styles
      Year in college
    • 4. Challenges
      Defining spaces
      What types of spaces do exist in libraries
      What types of spaces should exist in libraries
      Hidden variables
      Type of work being done
      Individual background
      Marital status
      Creating spaces
      Monetary issues
      Space issues
    • 5. Theories on diversity
      Multi contextuality
      Context diversity
      Ibarra, Roberto (2005). A Place to Belong: The Library as Prototype for Context Diversity. ACRL Twelfth National Conference.
      LC (Low Context)
      HC (High Context)
      Multicontext users
      Oblinger, Diana (2003). Boomers, Gen-Xers, & Millenials: Understanding the New Students. EDUCAUSE Review,July/August: 37-47.
    • 6. Methods
      Research questions
      Q1. learning styles and perception of library as space
      Q2. learning styles and use of library as space
      Q3. learning styles and individual differences
      Q4. relationship between individual differences and perception and use of library as space
    • 7. Methods
      Study sample/site
      D.H. Hill Library, North Carolina State University
      Learning commons
      Special Collections Reading Room
      Survey sample size: 100
    • 8. DH Hill Library Learning Commons
    • 9. DH Hill Library Special Collections Reading Room
    • 10. methods
      Perceptions of the library
      Use of a library
      Learning styles (High contextual vs. Low contextual)
      Demographics (race, gender, age, etc.)
      Data collection
      Sweeps (Observational Study)
      Administered on-site
    • 11. Preliminary Findings
      Observed a lot of females in reading room
      Individual study over group
      Fewer African American students in reading room
      Only males
    • 12. Preliminary Findings
      Spaces most often used during the semester
      Quiet space, 37%
      Social space, 28%
      Both types, 35%
    • 13. Preliminary Findings
      Favorite space
      Quiet study space, 45%
      Social space, 44%
    • 14. Preliminary Findings
      Frequency of use
      Number of times visited
      At least 3 to 5 times a week, 62%
      1 or 2 times a week, 24%
      A few times a month, 11%
    • 15. Preliminary Findings
      Hours spent in library during the previous two weeks
      More than five hours a day, 33%
      3-5 hours, 27%
      1-2 hours, 24%
    • 16. Preliminary Findings
      Days of the week
      Weekday night, 85%
      Weekday day time, 50%
      Weekend, 16%
    • 17. Preliminary Findings
      Most Frequent
      Doing assignments (6.0)
      Group study (5.29)
      Using computers/lab (5.23)
      Least Frequent
      Reading for pleasure (2.06)
      Sleeping (2.23)
      Playing a game (2.41)
    • 18. Preliminary Findings
      Perceptions of the library design
      Adaptable spaces (6.34)
      Flexibility (6.16)
      Open but clearly defined space (6.08)
      Technology and tools (6.0)
      Types of resources academic and leisure (5.96)
      Furniture (5.78)
    • 19. Michael Crumpton
      Assistant Dean for Administrative Services
      University of North Carolina at Greensboro
    • 20. Example at UNCG
    • 21. Identifying Space Problem
      Library consists of 3 story main building built in 1950 and a 9 story book tower
      131,705 sq ft of space at capacity
      Seating for 849 reduced by 50% last 5 years
      Collection runs full, incoming acquisitions outpacing withdrawals
      Student requests are for group study areas with tools for collaborative work
      Quality of instruction effected by small instructional space
    • 22. Proposed FutureRenovations
      Create a larger instruction lab
      Expand collaboratories and group spaces
      Expand information commons
      Expand service areas to include newsroom, in-house vending, expanded copy center
      Expand Archives space
      Reduce and relocate Government Documents
      Reduce size of Reference collection
    • 23. Purpose of Assessment Activity
      Gain hard data to present to consultant for programming ideas related to renovations
      Gain data on how students use the building
      Gain data to present to University Administration for funding requests
      Determine students’ satisfaction with the Libraries
      Consider changes to technology policies and actions to library space
      Determine future needs
    • 24. Changes in Functionality
      • SuperLab – needed for convenience
      • 25. Wireless – highly used, but need space in which to use
      • 26. Instruction – class and individual, grown significantly but needs more space
      • 27. Food and Drink – keeps students in library
      to work
      • Increase in student population – natural facility on campus to feel the increase
      • 28. Increase in higher degree level research needs
    • In-house Survey
      November 2007
      Jackson and Music
      Set up table in Library
      Staffed with students
      600 responses!
    • 29. What they do
    • 30. How often they come
    • 31. When they’re here
    • 32. Alone vs. Groups
      Group floor
      Quiet Floor
    • 33. Computer usage
      Reference Room
      Information Commons
    • 34. Using Materials
      Reference Room
      Reading Room
    • 35. Role of Library Space
      A Learning Environment
      Transformational character of intentional learning
      Knowledge transformation
      Library as facilitator:
      Environment design – comfort and aesthetics
      Nurturing relationships – staff and/or peers
      Foster self-directed learning
      Creations of “new” knowledge
      Safe and non-threatening
      Bringing together readers and books
      Collection building
      Space for reflecting and contemplation
      Third place use of space
      Information Consulting
      Access to information
      “Gateway “ for locating information
      Retrieval and communications
      Social and technological networks
      “archive” or preserve resources
    • 36. What’s Happening to Our Space?
      Electronic vs. print
      Organization shifting
      Reporting structure, traffic
      User needs changing
      Remote use, group activities
      Other space demands
      New equipment
    • 37. Purposeful Assessment of Space
      Space as a factor to organization’s mission
      Services provided
      Partner in learning
      Things to consider
      Consideration of assessment’s purpose
      Types of questions to be used
      Data-gathering methodologies
      Reporting strategies for results
    • 38. Basic Elements
      Statement of purpose with context – addresses unique concerns and significance
      Literature review – multiple issues being addressed out there so a review of relevant activities is good
      Determining assessment objectives – through development of research questions to be answered
      Establishing methodologies and procedures for implementation of assessment activity
      Present facts based finding of date w/o bias
      Discussion or interpretation of findings
      Conclusions and next steps
    • 39. Problem Statement
      Needs to represent the point of view of stakeholders
      Needs to identify the scope and focus of planning an assessment activity
      Should contribute history and background information as well as flags for concerns
      Should put in context what the limitations are or could be
      Must be conveyed in an open transparent point of view that isn’t seen as defensive
    • 40. Space Design
      Programming – what space will be used for
      Initial layouts – DD
      Detailed review of infrastructure – CD
      Professional standards
      Codes, local and multiple
      Interior designers
    • 41. Space Options or Needs
      Group teaching/learning
      Simulated/special learning environments
      Immersive environments
      Peer-to-peer and social learning
      Learning cluster
      Individual spaces
      External spaces
    • 42. Doing your research
      (data gathered firsthand)
      (data gathered by others)
      • Secondhand reports
      • 49. Historical data
      • 50. Purchased data
      • 51. Professional publications
      • 52. Benchmarking
      • 53. Best-practices reports
    • Focus Groups
      emails to student groups,
      posters, flyers
      Good mix of undergraduates, graduate students and subject areas, ages, off-campus and on-campus
      Took notes and transcribed
      Used LIS practicum student again
      Part of discussion was showing space consultant’s first concept drawing
    • 54. Assessment Methods - Questionnaire
      Literacy and/or language issues
      Clarification or explanation issues (lack of detail)
      Responses limited to context of question
      Perfunctory answers
      Can be consider impersonal or cold
      Most cost effective for quantity of feedback
      Can be compared
      Can be statistically analyzed
      Less time consuming
      Can be done simultaneously and in multiple locations
    • 55. Assessment Methods – Interviews (IND)
      Least time-efficient and usually most costly
      Interviewer should be practiced and skilled
      Interviewee selection must be broad to represent all points of view
      Should consider sampling models
      Provides personal communication opportunities:
      More details
      More free association
      Problems or issues can be explored in depth
      Allows for examples, anecdotes, stories, illustration of issues
    • 56. Assessment Methods – Focus Groups
      Requires prep and skilled facilitator
      Be aware of peer pressure responses
      Recognize broader stakeholder definition to get all viewpoints
      Use data from other methods to support proposals
      Keep it realistic
      Teaching tool
      Group interaction can procreate broader issues
      Non-verbal clues can be useful
      More time-efficient for interacting with more people
      Achieve better overall understanding
    • 57. Other Methods
      Sandboxing – test concepts prior to large scale commitment
      Design charettes – stakeholders allowed to actually create design
      Outside experts – seek input from specialized expertise
      Close-ended vs. open-ended questions
    • 58. Observational Studies (Sweeps)
      Checklist of observable behaviors
      Various times of day and evening
      Multiple observers involved
      Eliminates emotional or subjective data
    • 59. Delphi Study
      Technique premise is that experts have the best idea of future pathways
      Validity of study is based on expertise of participants
      Questions/responses are adjusted until participants reach consensus or determined it can’t be
      Not a precise analytical technique
      Is helpful with problems or issues that aren’t data driven
    • 60. Delphi con’t
      William J. Mitchell (paraphrased)
      Spaces that work well (long term) are built around human needs, comfort, natural light, social ambience, connection to outdoors
      Must remain sensitive to how technology and culture come together
      Change statements
      Why or why not
      Impact and desire
      Agreeing on consensus
      Results ranked
      Causes of non-consensus
      Economics and technology can be changing factors
    • 61. Data Driven Methodology
      Removes politics
      Reduces emotional investment
      Makes adversarial moves more rational
      Takes problem out of personal context and allows for subjective analysis
    • 62. Factors to Consider
      Design Factors
      Space Factors
      What question are you asking and why
      What goals and objectives are already determined
      Who is the audience
      What other information is available or needed
      What is best method
      Types of stakeholders
      Infrastructure issues
      Location and adjacencies
      Non-public needs
      Efficiency of design
      Funding ability
    • 63. Questions Asked
      How often they come and when?
      Entrance they use?
      What do they do?
      What’s good, what needs improvement?
      Role of the Library?
      Concept drawing
      Indentify major changes for feedback
      Esthetics of specific areas, i.e. circ desk, basement, SuperLab
    • 64. Concept Drawings
    • 65. Student Feedback
      Library is an important place to study
      Both group space and quiet space important
      Most students use their own materials
      Don’t want to carry their laptops around
      A variety of furniture and spaces are needed
      Not getting instruction at freshman level
      Online resources particularly important to grad student
    • 66. Summarized Responses
      Circ Desk not
      easily assessable
      Superlab is needed
      but as convenience,
      would go further to use
      Food and drink important
      for using library
      Love collaboratories…
      Need more!
      Librarians helpful
      but group instruction
      suffers from lack of space
      Basement creepy
      and dark
    • 67. Other Useful Info
      Lack of awareness of some services
      Software on Library computers
      Printing options
      Copy center type services
      Carrels and lockers
      IM assistance
      Materials not as important to undergrads
      Two entrances create traffic flow and communication opportunity
      Students expect us to be there
    • 68. Effect on Space Planning
      Feedback and ideas carried into second concept drawing and final report
      Evidence of library more important for space rather than materials
      Comforts and conveniences important for ownership of space
      Library can be host to other service points with expectations of compliance
      Library is important to total educational experience and should be presented as such
    • 69. Immediate Actions Taken
      Expand collaboratories concept
      Increase popular furniture options
      Will offer laptop checkout in Fall 2008
      Offering carrels to all students
      Adding vending options
      Expanding 24/5 available space
      Will target marketing of IM, collaboratories and other services
      Implement NewsRoom in the Fall
      Add Messaging Board for traffic
    • 70. Space Assessment Report
      Reposition Circulation Desk
      Expanded Information Commons area including computers and collaboratories
      Moved Superlab to 2nd floor – destination
      Develop Cyber-café concept
      Create Government Information and Data Center
      Basement remodel to include “people friendly” spaces
      Developed “Main Street” of services concept
    • 71. Summary of Process
      Space needs and problems identified
      Space consultant hired
      Survey of student space needs conducted
      Observation studies of behavioral related traits conducted
      Focus group activity conducted with space consultant’s first concept drawing
      Space consultant’s revised second drawing compared to assessment data
    • 72. Summary of Process “continued”
      Staff feedback gathered from each concept presentation including assessment data
      Space consultant issued final report and recommendations
      Changes identified that were affordable outside of remodel executed summer ’08
      Proposal presented to Dean’s Council with request for funding assistance for major work and changes
      Assessment data summarized for staff
      Offered By
      Philip Cherry
      Onslow County Public Library Director
      Old methods of calculating space or square footage are mostly no longer applicable.
      Ideals such as “one branch every five miles or every fifteen minutes” may now be unsustainable.
      Old measurements of the library’s information “fire power” have also gone by the wayside.
      Sq. ft. per capita ratios no longer provide accurate internal guidance or desired political pressure.
      Example of old calculation:
      Ratio: 1 sq. ft. per capita
      Population: 250,000
      Library Space: 250,000 sq. ft.
      This type of measurement as a rationale for construction has lost its power with political leaders because of economics.
      Similarly space allocations that emphasize total holding capacity of physical items no longer deserve to be the central concern of interior space planning.
      There is now more information delivery power in a well designed, Internet enabled 50,000 volume facility of today than there was in a 1 million volume facility of circa 1990!
      Newer “sexy” ratios that emerged in the last decade or so created noble end goals for many communities; but ultimately proved to be sustainable in only the best economic/budgetary conditions.
      An example of this is the “five mile-fifteen minute” relationship between library facilities within a community.
      Many Library Systems that expanded aggressively using variations of distance/drive time considerations were forced to significantly scale back operations when funding was substantially reduced.
      Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library
      Charlotte Public Library
      DC Public Library System
      Collection size ratios and the gross measures they are based on may still inform some through annual statistical report instruments; but really do not hold the place they once held in facilities designed discussions.
      The approaches and discussions I find still useful/relevant to public facility design discussions center on user behaviors; desired programming features (still based on user behaviors); building code requirements and sustainability.
      Unlike school, academic and special libraries, public libraries accommodate extremely open populations.
      These diverse populations bring behaviors and expectations that must be taken into account during the public library design process.
      Failure to account for these behaviors and expectations can haunt a project for the rest of its existence.
      Children & family focused activities such as storytime and family film Fridays.
      Computer workstation/Internet access is a universal public library patron expectation.
      Library as center of community life and activity will manifest itself in features such as multiple meeting rooms and service as for example polling place, town square, business center, homework center and safe house.
      Undesirable user behaviors include things such as:
      Attempted drug dealing
      Child predation
      As is the case for many academic and community college library patrons, more public library patrons expect the entire property to function as “the library” rather than just the physical building.
      Disparate user behaviors can create instant conflict between patrons (children/older readers/Internet adults)
      Large community room capable of being divided into smaller spaces using partition system. Ideal minimum capacity 100 seats.
      Kitchens or kitchenettes support meeting room.
      Small group (under 15 people) conference rooms in addition to large community room.
      Children’s & Youth areas intentionally placed away from main reading room & Adult stacks areas. (Do Not Place Storytime Room Next to Local History & Genealogy Room Unless War is a Desired Outcome!)
      Design that takes advantage of and or creates beautiful exterior views (includes plenty of window space.
      Wi-Fi technology that washes over the library property-not just the interior space.
      Meeting space designed as its own clustering allowing it to be used independently of the rest of the library.
      Well placed and secured power outlets for public use.
      Hard-wired as well as Wi-Fi Network
      Attractive carpet tiles whose patterns effectively hide dirt (and age of the carpet)
      Avoidance of high end/high art furniture that may look great but functions horribly under heavy use.
      Choice of exterior plantings that provide very open area in and around entrances and exits
      Avoidance of designs that create blind hallways, nooks and crannies where unacceptable behavior can occur
      Serpentine or dual entrance bathroom foyers rather than traditional men/women doors
      Full alarm systems that feature door contacts, glass-breaks, and zoned motion detection. Smoke/fire alarms/sprinkler requirements often driven by building codes.
      Single point general entry entrance/egress into children’s room
      Controlled single point exit from youth room to exterior reading/seating garden
      Parking lot design that calms speeding
      Front door entrance/exit that does not give the patron an opportunity to step directly into traffic flow
      Elimination of architectural features that may make the architect proud but which create immediate safety risk such as two story foyers with low upper story railings.
      Use of sustainability concepts such as those contained in the LEED program
      Avoidance of architectural details that will be expensive to replace/maintain or difficult to access for service
      Design which will allow function of facility with a less-than-ideal staff compliment
      Joint use facilities (public library/school library or public library/community college library)
      Co-located facilities (library/museum, library/science center, library/environmental education center
      Special functions contained within a library program (exceptional learning center/ job center, etc.)
      Library as emergency operations center (EOC) site
      Library facility as emergency shelter
      Library as community recovery center
    • 94. What to Read?
      Planning for Health Science Library Facilities, Weise & Tooey, Administration and Management in Health Science Libraries, vol. 8, 2000
      Space Assessment as a Venue for Defining the Academic Library, Nitecki, The Library Quarterly, Vol. 81, no. 1, Jan 2011
      Library as Place: results of a Delphi Study, Ludwig, & Starr, J Med LibrAssoc 93(3) July 2005
      The Third Place: The Library as Collaborative and Community Space in a Time of Fiscal Restraint, Montgomery & Miller, College & Undergraduate Libraries, 18:228-238, 2011
    • 95. What to Read?
      Foster, N., & Gibbons, S., Ed. (2007). Studying Students: The Undergraduate Research Project at the University of Rochester. Chicago, IL: Association of College and Research Libraries.
      Gayton, J.T. (2008). Academic libraries: “Social” or “Communal?” The nature and future of academic libraries. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 34 (1), 60-66.
      Given, Lisa M. & Leckie, Gloria J. (2003). ‘‘Sweeping’’ the Library: Mapping the social activity space of the public library. Library & Information Science Research, 25, 365–385
    • 96. What to Read?
      Ibarra, Roberto (2005). A Place to Belong: The Library as Prototype for Context Diversity. ACRL Twelfth National Conference.
      Oblinger, Diana (2003). Boomers, Gen-Xers, & Millenials: Understanding the New Students. EDUCAUSE Review,July/August: 37-47.
      Shill, H., & Tonner, S. (2003). Creating a Better Place: Physical Improvements in Academic Libraries, 1995-2002. College & Research Libraries, 64(6), pp. 431-466.
      Shill, H., & Tonner, S. (2004). Does the Building Still Matter? Usage Patterns in New, Expanded, and Renovated Libraries, 1995-2002. College & Research Libraries, 65(2), pp. 123-150.