Creating library spaces of the future LaTesha Velez Diversity Resident Librarian
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)
Background How do patrons use academic libraries spatially? Are there differences? Racial/ethnic Gender Learning styles Generational Year in college Other
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 Major Individual background Marital status Creating spaces Monetary issues Space issues
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. Millennials
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
Methods Study sample/site Undergraduate D.H. Hill Library, North Carolina State University Learning commons Special Collections Reading Room Survey sample size: 100
DH Hill Library Special Collections Reading Room
methods Measures 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) Survey Administered on-site
Preliminary Findings Sweeps Observed a lot of females in reading room Texting Individual study over group Multi-tasking Fewer African American students in reading room Only males
Preliminary Findings Survey Spaces most often used during the semester Quiet space, 37% Social space, 28% Both types, 35%
Preliminary Findings Survey Favorite space Quiet study space, 45% Social space, 44%
Preliminary Findings Survey 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%
Preliminary Findings Survey Hours spent in library during the previous two weeks More than five hours a day, 33% 3-5 hours, 27% 1-2 hours, 24%
Preliminary Findings Survey Days of the week Weekday night, 85% Weekday day time, 50% Weekend, 16%
Preliminary Findings Survey Activities 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)
Preliminary Findings Survey 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)
Michael Crumpton Assistant Dean for Administrative Services University of North Carolina at Greensboro
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
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
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
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
What’s Happening to Our Space? Electronic vs. print Organization shifting Reporting structure, traffic User needs changing Remote use, group activities Politics Other space demands Technology New equipment
Purposeful Assessment of Space Space as a factor to organization’s mission Gathering 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
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
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
Space Design Programming – what space will be used for Initial layouts – DD Detailed review of infrastructure – CD Protocols Professional standards Codes, local and multiple Planners Architects Interior designers Stakeholders Donors Administration
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
Doing your research Primary (data gathered firsthand)
Focus Groups Recruitment emails to student groups, posters, flyers incentives 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
Assessment Methods - Questionnaire Disadvantages 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 Advantages Most cost effective for quantity of feedback Anonymous Can be compared Can be statistically analyzed Less time consuming Can be done simultaneously and in multiple locations
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
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
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
Observational Studies (Sweeps) Checklist of observable behaviors Various times of day and evening Multiple observers involved Eliminates emotional or subjective data
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
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
Data Driven Methodology Removes politics Reduces emotional investment Makes adversarial moves more rational Takes problem out of personal context and allows for subjective analysis
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 Functionality Flexibility Non-public needs Efficiency of design Funding ability
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
PUBLIC LIBRARY FACILITIES DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS Offered By Philip Cherry Onslow County Public Library Director
PARADIGM SHIFT IN SPACE PLANNING 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.
PARADIGM SHIFT IN SPACE PLANNING 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.
PARADIGM SHIFT IN SPACE PLANNING 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!
PARADIGM SHIFT IN SPACE PLANNING 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.
PARADIGM SHIFT IN SPACE PLANNING 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
PARADIGM SHIFT IN SPACE PLANNING 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.
PARADIGM SHIFT IN SPACE PLANNING 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.
USER BEHAVIORS 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.
USER BEHAVIORS 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.
USER BEHAVIORS Undesirable user behaviors include things such as: Attempted drug dealing Prostitution Child predation Vagrancy Loitering Theft Panhandling
USER BEHAVIORS 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)
BEHAVIORS INTO FACILITY FEATURES 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!)
BEHAVIORS INTO FACILITY FEATURES 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.
BEHAVIORS INTO FACILITY FEATURES 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.
BEHAVIORS INTO FACILITY FEATURES (SECURITY) 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
BEHAVIORS INTO FACILITY FEATURES (SECURITY) 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
BEHAVIORS INTO FACILITY FEATURES (SECURITY) 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.
BEHAVIORS INTO FACILITY FEATURES (SUSTAINABILITY) 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
BEHAVIORS INTO FACILITY FEATURES (SPECIAL USES) 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.)
BEHAVIORS INTO FACILITY FEATURES (SPECIAL USES) Library as emergency operations center (EOC) site Library facility as emergency shelter Library as community recovery center
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
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
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.