Research for Redesign


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Research for Redesign

  1. 1. University of South Florida St. Petersburg Kaya van Beynen, M.Sc., M.A., Reference and Instruction Librarian Patricia Pettijohn, MLIS, Head, Collection Development and Technical Services Marcy Carrel, MBA, MLIS, Reference and Instruction Librarian
  2. 2. Organizational Context  USF St. Petersburg has experienced substantial growth as we evolve from a regional campus in a university system, to a separately accredited institution within that system.  From 2004 to 2008, the number of students increased by 18%.
  3. 3. Environmental Context  The Nelson Poynter Library of the University of South Florida Saint Petersburg is a mid-sized academic library overlooking Bayboro Harbor  Built in 1996, the library has three floors and a total of 80,000 square feet, of which 54,000 is usable space  The most prominent architectural feature is a large atrium when visitors first enter the building.
  4. 4. Theoretical Context The General Value Principle (Bitgood, 2006)  Visitors to public spaces unconsciously weigh the perceived or actual costs against the perceived benefits to guide their interaction and movement choices. The Economy of Movement Principle (Bitgood, 2005)  People tend to walk on the right and turn right when confronted with a choice in order to reduce their effort (by limiting the number of steps)  Only when presented with a desired leftward destination, do people veer left and cut across to their destination, and backtracking is rare.
  5. 5. Methodology Visitor Observation  Over the course of a week, random samples of visitors entering the library were observed for 5 minutes. For each observation, the researcher mapped the path, stopping location(s), and activities of the visitor. Focus Groups  Each observation period was followed by a focus group asking students about building use, barriers to use, and their ideas about library re-design.
  7. 7. Testing Redesign  After each research cycle (observation and focus group) changes were made to the library environment. Repeating the cycle of research following each redesign allowed us to observe how these redesigned spaces were used, while focus groups allowed us to get direct feedback on design changes.  Observation was conducted 3 times over the course of a year (2007-2008). A total of 624 library visitors were observed, representing 7% of the total library visitors during the observation weeks.  Three focus groups were conducted, with a total of 21 students participating.
  8. 8. Observation Results: Most frequent first stops  Computer commons (28.5%)  Stairs (10.0%)  Circulation (9.6%)  Restrooms (7.1%)  Reference Desk (6.5%)  Current periodicals (4.3%)
  9. 9. Observation Results:  45% of visitors made 1 stop only  41% made 2 or 3 stops  14% made 4 or more stops  The number of stops per visitor increased dramatically during the 3rd observation
  10. 10. Observed Activities:  Using (such as the computer, printer, etc) – 52%  Asking for Help (at the service desks)– 10%  Laptop use – 3%  Socializing – 9%  The level of socializing declined significantly during the 2nd observation week (OW2) (OW1 -10%; OW2 -5%; OW3 – 10%)  Observation week 2 coincided with many midterm examinations and was just before spring break.
  11. 11. Observed Activities:  Browsing – 13%  The percentage of browsing stops increased steadily over the 3 observation weeks  Visitors with 4 or more stops were much more likely to directly engage with a library display. These individuals accounted for 52% of all Browsing or Reading activities  Reading – overall 9%  Only 2% of visitors read during Observation week 1  This jumped to 15% during Observation week 2 (midterms)  Reading activities remained high during OW 3 at 10%
  12. 12. Characteristics of Visitors with 4 or more stops  Driven visitors – A clearly defined purpose; efficient movement.  Nesting visitors – Planned for an extended stay; rearranged their space and made themselves comfortable.  Waiting visitors – Wandered or browsed; chatted or texted until joined by fellow visitor.  Browsing visitors – Seemed to lack a definitive goal; took their time looking at the displays.
  13. 13. Searching for Quiet Space  Subgroup 10% of visitors who went directly upstairs  Public areas of 2nd and 3rd floors include the circulating collection, study carrels, work tables, and private study rooms  Area generally quiet  Either want a book or a quiet place to study
  14. 14. Focus Group Results  Students told us they wanted more electrical outlets for laptops, comfortable chairs, group meeting spaces, and library signage.  They liked the library’s natural lighting and believed the library atrium was an ideal place on campus to meet friends.  They also indicated that they generally did not notice library exhibits.
  15. 15. Redesign Library atrium:  Modular mobile displays added to exhibit area  Current events displays – engaged ROTC students  Situated along natural pathways  Students in focus groups reported not wanting to touch the book displays – in response added signage to encourage browsing
  16. 16. Redesign Mobile new books cart  Moved to 2 different locations  Final location near the library entrance to increase visibility Result  Increased visitor browsing and reading of New Books based on # of stops and focus group comments
  17. 17. Redesign Laptop Bistro: (the space before) • Under-utilized space located near library entrance. • Insufficient electrical outlets to meet student laptop use. • Obstructed views created by the current periodical shelves.
  18. 18. Redesign Laptop Bistro:  After (electrical outlets for laptops, natural light) • Area now a defined destination with a clear purpose • Increased electrical outlets for laptop use • Emphasizes the spaces’ attributes (natural light and easy visibility)
  19. 19. Redesign Poynter Presentation Corner (the space before) • Lovely view, but underutilized by students. • Peripheral location - furthest area from the service desks, obstructed views facilitated inappropriate behavior. • Weeded 10,000 journal issues and removed 5 ranges of shelves to create a large open space.
  20. 20. Redesign Poynter Presentation Corner  After (space is re-purposed) Flexible space with mobile furniture – encourages users to reorganize it to suit their learning needs. •Student groups prepare presentations •Science Café and other speaker events
  21. 21. Implications & Conclusions The implications of this research finding are two-fold: The library can reduce the visitor “costs” of displays by situating them along the visitors’ natural pathways and thereby encourage greater interaction; and r The library can increase the visitors’ “benefits” by re-designing “costly” far-flung areas of the library as desirable destinations for students. Ongoing testing of library redesign allows us to understand how visitors are using library space, and how we can direct their movement patterns to encourage interaction with library resources, services, and exhibits.
  22. 22. Selected Bibliography Bennett, S. (2006). “The choice for learning.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship. Vol. 32 (1). Bitgood, S., Dukes, S., & Abbey, L. (2006). “Interest and effort as predictors of reading: a test of the general value principle.” Current Trends in Audience Research. Vol. 19. Bitgood S. & Dukes, S. (2005). “Not another step! Economy of movement and pedestrian choice point behavior in shopping malls.” Environment and Behavior. Vol. 20 (10). Freeman, G. (2005). “The library as place: changes in learning patterns, collections, technology and use.” In Library as Place: Rethinking Roles, Rethinking Space. Washington, D.C.: Council on Library and Information Resources. Shill, H.B. & Tonner S. (2004) “Does the building still matter? usage patterns in new, expanded, and renovated libraries, 1995-2002.” College & Research Libraries. March. Shill, H.B. & Tonner S. (2003) “Creating a better place: physical improvement in academic libraries, 1995-2002.”College & Research Libraries. November.