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Service Design with Education in Mind: Teaching Moments at Library Service Points Johanna Archbold


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As more and more libraries create new spaces and revamp old spaces, the opportunity for wider changes as a consequence of new or updated spaces is significant. A physical change in environment is a natural instigator for service change whether planned or unplanned at the design stage.

RCSI Library used the opportunity of a completely new library project to re-imagine our approach to interaction with users at our primary service point. This focused on the physical space with openness, flexibility of use and the removal of the traditional ‘service desk’ as a barrier as key drivers of the change. Our Service Design also considered the types of interactions we were having in our old library, those that we wanted to have, and how we could maximise the impact of these interactions for the benefit of our users.

After almost two years of service at this new Information Point, what has emerged through ‘activating’ this space, is an understanding of how service point interactions can be significant ‘Teaching Moments’ between library staff and our users. This paper will tease out how we have developed ‘Teaching Moments’, starting with the space design, and covering developments for different cohorts of users, particularly those who are returning to education or those requiring additional supports. Staff training, incremental improvements, and relationship development across the organization will all be discussed in the presentation to provide useful areas for consideration for other libraries planning space and service changes.

Published in: Education
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Service Design with Education in Mind: Teaching Moments at Library Service Points Johanna Archbold

  1. 1. Service Design with Education in Mind Teaching Moments at Library Service Points Dr Johanna Archbold Customer Service & Communications Coordinator RCSI Library
  2. 2. Service Design with Education in Mind Teaching Moments at Library Service Points
  3. 3. €80mInvested in RCSI’s 26 York Street, home to Europe’s most advanced clinical simulation facility €11mInvested in extension of RCSI’s Smurfit Building at Beaumont Hospital INVESTMENT WORLD RANKINGS Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 To p 2 % No.1Highest research paper impact (citation rate) in Ireland Double RCSI field-weighted citation compared to world average RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK International campuses: 4Bahrain, Dubai, and Malaysia (2) Alumni: 17,000in 97 countries STUDENTS IN IRELAND 3,781 Registered Students 2,259 Undergraduate students (Medicine, Physiotherapy and Pharmacy) 1,041 Postgraduate students (Masters, MD, PhD) 457 Surgical and emergency medicine trainees STAFF 1,12 International student profile: Students from over 60 countries RCSI in numbers
  4. 4. 26 York Street 26 York Street is a state-of-the-art building that puts Ireland at the forefront of pioneering developments in the delivery of healthcare education.
  5. 5. Building Elements National Surgical & Clinical Training Centre including clinical simulation suite 540-seat Auditorium Sports Hall & Gym Specialist healthcare Library Social spaces & outdoor patio Designed for energy efficiency
  6. 6. Building Design • Borderless – No Boundaries • Transparent Spaces • Holistic Educational Experience • Shared Learning Environments • Specialist Training Suites >>> Informed Library Design
  7. 7. Borderless
  8. 8. Transparent spaces
  9. 9. Holistic Educational Experience
  10. 10. Shared Learning Environments
  11. 11. Specialist Training Suites
  12. 12. Thornburg, David (2004) Campfires in Cyberspace: Primordial Metaphors for Learning in the 21st Century. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 1(10). • Part of Student Learning Ecosystem • Design to support a variety of learning styles and needs • Reassert the core value of the library as a ‘service’ • Opportunity to re-design service • Space as relationship-builder within organisation & externally WATERING HOLES Peer-to-Peer CAMPFIRES Hear from Experts CAVES Solitary Library Design > Influencers
  13. 13. > Influencers Pockets of Excellence Pockets of Excellence Nordquist, Jonas et al. (2013) Future learning environments: the advent of a “spatial turn”? Journal of Interprofessional Care, 27(S2):77-81. Libraries occupy physical & intellectual space between formal & informal. Libraries are connectors.
  14. 14. Library Design > Internal Drivers • Articulate & promote library professional expertise • Enhance visibility of services • UX to inform service development & improvement • Development of online and onsite services • Underpin service model with standards, quality and benchmarking • Direct engagement with users through service and learning supports • Continue to nurture and develop a CSE ethos and practice
  15. 15. Service Design with Education in Mind What is Service Design? Designing to improve quality and interactions What was our current ‘Service Design’? Transaction > Teaching What were we good at? How do we make space to be better at this? Adaptability Welcome Second Home Friendliness Customer Satisfaction Composure under pressure Responding to technology Change Management Always deliver Approachability Adapting to change Extra Mile Customer Confidence & Trust Consistency of service delivery Innovative Technology Remaining at the cutting edge Collegiality Expansion Expertise Reputation Expertise Library Online presence Collections Good relationship with our users
  16. 16. User Engagement experimenting/test-bedding Introduced UX Methodologies Began ‘pop-ups’ outside Library spaces Got more involved in student society activity onsite in Library lobby Increased visibility via College channels & Campaigns Collaborative campaigns with different user groups Collaborative skills clinic at Service Desk Relationship development with Student Representatives Starting conversation s
  17. 17. Our users are completely knowable…it is our responsibility to get to know them Particular users are particularly struggling with demands of info literacy skills they need ‘Clinic-style’/Bespoke sessions work really well from CS Team Our users are multidimensional and sometimes abstract (organisation/depts) We already have great relationships at Service Desk…how will new space/services optimise this? What we learned
  18. 18. Informed design of space: Set down/Quick Fix Detailed Consult 1:1 & Small Group Informed the design of service: PG Nursing Students PG Ethics & Leadership Students UG Research Projects UG International Students Space for Interaction
  19. 19. Service Design with Education in Mind Design Elements to promote ideal interactions – conversation moments Transactional > Teaching – adding self-service
  20. 20. Activate the Space >> more learning
  21. 21. Activate the Space >> Teaching Moments Teaching Moments took on a new life as part of actually ‘activating’ the space Consultation space at Information Point Area >> Physical area greatly enhanced interactions to the point that we could see our own value as CS Team Understood the value of 20-30 mins sessions, informal, not booked in but at the moment of need >> Somewhat unexpected from the student…surprise & delight Transactional – Teaching >> We knew this was coming but flow of space really valuable All about the approach >> Reference interview re-invented Teaching Moment is all about the context of the start of the users interaction I’m looking for a book on ulcers ………. Cat search; wound care…
  22. 22. Service Design with Education in Mind Staff Training Reference Interview skills in Context of assignment, exam, learning needs… Recognising how to ask around a question, not just know how to do or demonstrate Appreciating that CS Team are ‘The Librarian’ Power to reassure students when they are under pressure i.e. advice on what to focus on How to assess each interaction against ‘ideas’ of excellence? • Would that student recommend coming to the Info Point to a friend? • Would that student come back with another question?
  23. 23. Teaching Moments from Customer Service Team Changing Lives before Students even meet our back-of-house Expertise! I cannot thank you enough for your time, help, patience and guidance…I’ve gone form feeling extremely stressed and worried all weekend not being able to locate articles on the assignment, and also being uneducated on APA referencing, to now feeing so relieved and positive after spending approx. 1 hour with you.
  24. 24. Visibility & Proximity Library anchor tenant Library atrium feature Transparency but zoned Corridors as linked spaces Anatomy of building Add photo of simulation Building Design >> Surprises
  25. 25. Range of Users Openness to consultation Just-In-Time Lack of awareness of what can be asked at Info Point Building anchor tenant Knowledge required Relationship-building activated by CS Library Design >> Surprises
  26. 26. Teaching Moments bottom line…vzxcvxz As well as your physical design ideas, having a tangible realistic concept like Teaching Moments is key to activating the space with your users in mind and to help your staff manage big changes.
  27. 27. Service Design with Education in Mind Teaching Moments at Library Service Points
  28. 28. Leading theLeading the worldworld to better healthto better health
  29. 29. Service Design with Education in Mind Thank you Johanna Archbold @Johanna_speaks