• Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues,  Space Planning

    New Library? New Collection

    As library consultants, Aaron Cohen Associates offers Opening Day Collection planning services to support new library development. We can help you employ a series of curation tools that will define all facets of your Opening Day Collection, from needs analysis to setup and delivery. A consultant can work with your project team to ensure the library collection enhances the user experience.

    We will define how to develop the collection, how they are cataloged and shared, and where they are located in the building. We will define how library collections are designed for browsing and community collaboration. We will make sure your library offers a consistent user experience and that the collection reflects support for your community.

    According to 7 Ways Collection Analysis Tools Can Benefit Your Library, the process can be integrated with library programming, including:

    1. Analysis of Library Data and Shelving
    2. Circulation Trends and Data Points to Make Improvements
    3. Balancing Your Collection
    4. De-accesion – Creating a New Vision for Your Collection
    5. Prototyping – Analyzing How to Get the Right Books into Your Collection
    6. Strengthening Funding Strategies
    7. Improve Staff Performance

    Recently, we adopted Design Thinking exercises to help our clients understand their needs. Our workshops put stakeholders in charge of their library programming. We can provide examples of the library programming process to help you understand the options. This will include your capacity to hold items and your ability to design a new user experience.

    Below are some links to help you begin your collection development work.

    Why Do You Need a Collection Development Plan?

    Three Cool Tools for School Library Collection Development

    School Library Design

  • Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues,  Space Planning

    Design Thinking – Library Planning Practices

    When tackling a major initiative like the development of a new library or an overhaul of a document management system, diverse teams need to engage in design thinking workshops. They need to start to discover and dream about the next generation services and they need to share new designs with their funders. Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD / Library Consultants recent research into design thinking for libraries, reveals an interesting paradox: Although people have the tools to do planning research – they do not have a process or the workshop framework to implement their vision. To put it another way, the lack of strategic investments in your library undermines the success of public services and no one has a plan to make improvements.

    We found that Library Board of Trustees need a constant flow planning of activities to improve the library. They need relationship-oriented workshops and task-oriented plans to create positive outcomes for the library. If the leadership goes to sleep, team performance drops and the environment suffers. According to Stanford D School on Design Thinking there are 8 core abilities you can use to kick start your Design Thinking process:

    Navigate Ambiguity
    Learn from Others (People and Contexts)
    Synthesize Information
    Experiment Rapidly
    Move Between Concrete and Abstract
    Build and Craft Intentionally
    Communicate Deliberately
    Design your Design Work

    OUR WORKSHOPS
    When Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD / Library Consultants facilities design thinking / library planning workshops, we help community members engage in design thinking. It is a great opportunity to ask people to participate in the design, discovery & development project. The workshops have a cooperative human centered approach, providing opportunities for coaching and mentoring, sharing and building on design ideas.

    Library Planning Workshops are an opportunity to consider the challenges your library or digital asset management team faces and new technologies and furnishing solutions that will help the staff make user experiences impact-full. The workshops will help you learn about your libraries needs, creating a breakdown the design components and building new service models to test.

    LINKS FOR DESIGN THINKING

    Center for the Future of Libraries

    IDEO Design Thinking Background Methods

    HPI / SAP Design Thinking Methods

    The Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) design thinking

    So how can you start to socialize and create network-building practices? Start a master planning project – help leadership build the perception of success and make the community believe they are in good company. Ask team members about the idea it might start the transition from old to new.

    library design thinking

  • Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues,  Space Planning

    The Renovation Starts Here

    If you are planning a major renovation or a new facility, a positive outcome begins with a proven methodology and process. Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD specializes in library programming, with a focus on both space and service. Our workshops showcase innovation and thought leaders. Join us at SAP on January 30th for a free event focused on the library of the future.

    Is there potential relocate or add a new library service or space this year? If so, you must begin to create ideas, so that you will be able to share them with your organization’s leadership and project team. Your ideas and sketches will also help you work effectively with architects and planners.

    If you are ready to learn more about design thinking and how it can cultivate new ideas, join us on Jan 30, 2020. The Future of Libraries event will bring together experts from a wide range of fields and experiences. They will help you define what innovation means to you and how you can identify solutions to design challenges.


  • Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues,  work in progress

    Resolve to Update Your Library in 2019

    As time and technology advance, a library must keep pace with community needs. It may be time to develop a strategic or master plan, or to undertake a review and redesign to modernize a space. ACA can leverage our decades of experience to guide stakeholders through the process and ensure a good outcome.

    The first step is to look at existing space and services.  What services are offered—or not offered? What needs to be added? What needs to be left behind?

    To make these decisions, we focus on future needs, such as social collaboration, reference and technology access. Then, we develop a program and design that will meet these needs, following a timeline and phases with specific milestones.

    ACA will work with you to:

    • Review existing conditions: space, service and staff.
    • Consider future needs and ways to fill in the gaps: more collaborative space? Fewer print titles? More programming rooms?
    • Develop a program and design to meet the needs and modernize the space.

    Want more information? Contact Us!

  • Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues,  work in progress

    To Be More Effective, Harness the Power of Data

    Data visualization can offer unique insight into a health sciences organization. This important work involves both healthcare professionals and the IT teams that provide communications platforms and support. Recently, we analyzed the digital asset management (DAM) needs of a global healthcare corporation. We learned that corporations need to integrate software, company culture and library skills. Healthcare libraries often present a complex mix of evidence-based research and user support; we shared the ways a librarian’s expertise could be leveraged to increase effectiveness and communication.

    The following are a few lessons learned from our digital asset management project:

    • Without a digital library to share content, visualization is difficult to generate or coordinate
    • Marketing teams can use data visualization as a way to improve coordination across the enterprise
    • When information is not shared across the enterprise, it creates silos of content that is often lost and not re-used

    To capitalize on visualization opportunities at your organization, consider these four steps:

    1. Reflect on the unique and distinctive aspectsof data in your organization. How do staff or clients use your information: in what context and in what environment?
    2. Consider potential partnerswho can help your organization increase its data visualization skills.
    3. Identify the visualization opportunitiesthat your team can offer. Can you add technology to your services? What innovation is possible? How can the team be more effective?
    4. Develop a strategic programfor your data visualization needs. What is your organization up against? How can you overcome technical challenges? What are the risks of investment?

    ACA can help you develop a strategic program. We are accomplished analysts, providing IT solutions by surveying the information needs of healthcare organizations, the IT/DAM landscape, and the information needs of teaching hospitals and healthcare organizations.  Contact usto find out more.

     

  • Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues,  work in progress

    Improve the Library, Improve the Community

    Libraries have long been the heart of the communities they serve.  Eric Klinenberg is a pioneer promoting such social infrastructure as a way to improve lives. As author of Palaces for the People, he has come to the same conclusion that we have in our 47-year history planning libraries: if you build new libraries, communities grow and thrive.

    Sometimes it seems impossible to get support for the local library; funds are often tight, and people have a negative view of the space, creating a vicious cycle. Restricted library funding can have real consequences, including underdeveloped children’s and teen services. This in turn affects the youths’ ability to network, thrive in their community and grow into well-rounded individuals. Kids may just “hang out” in the street or get chased away from public areas like stores or parks. Eric Klinenberg analyzes this problem and offers examples of the public library as a solution. The library offers kids a “third place” and a shared home away from home. This reduces their isolation and improves the community.

    Part of providing this social infrastructure is designing spaces that allow for various activities: quiet work, social interaction and so on. Aaron Cohen Associates’ Five Modes of Learning Workshops provide a platform to analyze how people use library spaces and how they may be improved to support more activities. It offers guidance on how to distribute the library functions in a manageable pattern, using behavior as an underlying guide for the design.

    To determine where the behavioral modes fit into the library, we use a hands-on method called the Visual Scan. Together the five modes of learning and Visual Scan enables our team to create innovations including more group study spaces and flexible, collaborative areas.

    Tomorrow, November 30th, we will host a workshop in NYC at Steelcase. We will examine how we can redefine the library experience. Join us! – CLICK HERE –

  • Library Planning Research,  library technology,  Social Library Issues

    Make Your Library More Relevant Than Ever

    Even in the digital age, public libraries remain a vital community resource. According to PLA’s latest study on user awareness in libraries,  53% of the public see the library as a source of community pride, and 61% of voters are willing to donate money to support their library.

    Communities with great public libraries can draw more people in and continue the cycle of growth. However, this often means a redesign is in order. Communities  that need to raise money for their library require specialized help (Contact Library Consultant).  This work is essential to changing the building, enabling your library to grow.

    A good design can increase usages of your library; when a new library is built or an existing one is renovated, there is an increase in educational programs and amenities.  Our library programming results in new user experiences, because space is allotted for various patron activities: quiet reading, education, digital resources and group meetings.

    The OCLC and PLA report outlined current perceptions and support among US voters and how they may have shifted over the last 10 years; it showed that libraries are still relevant today.

    The update of the original study – From Awareness to Funding: A Study of Library Support in America,

    Additional Outcomes:

    • 58% feel that public libraries advance education
    • 51% believe libraries enhance the quality of life of any community
    • 70% of library users visit the library building
    • 52% of library users visit the library’s website

    We are both digital librarians and a library space planning consultant group. We can help libraries that need to:

    1. Engage with the public to determine space and service needs, resulting in responsive buildings.
    2. Offer digital services to a social-media savvy public through inventive library services and operations.

  • Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues

    Vision Lab: Single Purpose Education Buildings are Out

    In the education world, libraries are ready to become part of the learning experience. Colleges are trimming the space for open shelving and providing more space for reflective, collaborative and group project-based work. The space and storage requirements are not going away, which requires careful planning and adjustments to the program.

    The functions of libraries are clarified at Aaron Cohen Associates, especially at schools where the line of demarcation between social gathering spaces and serious work cause friction. During a recent library planning project, we looked at converting existing book stacks to accommodate interdisciplinary space to enable more scholarly research across all fields. We focused on data visualization and the need to accommodate to different types of learning behaviors.

    The Future Library / Vision Lab Concept is visualized in ‘The Contingency of a Pinball Machine‘ – In Tech Trends 21, the pinball is a visual metaphor of the user who is launched through innovation onto the playing board, with the ball representing value for all of scholarly communications, including researchers, libraries, and publishers.

    “The flippers that keep the ball in play are Human and AI assisted technologies that support the value chain process. Additional support propelling the ball is provided by institutions, both libraries and other institutional support infrastructures, as well as funding organizations.”

  • Library Planning Research,  library technology,  Social Library Issues,  Space Planning,  work in progress

    The Plausibility of a Virtual Library Concept

    Mobile devices once represented a “new frontier” in library service, offering more access and connectivity than ever before. Today, Virtual Reality (VR) applications represent the next wave in libraries. Motion-controlled technology will enable us to step into another world, no longer tethered only to the physical library space. Users will no longer be spectators but participants in the virtual library.

    This new technology offers exciting opportunities for knowledge management applications. For example, Kevin He, founder of Midas Touch, is developing physics-based animation games that incorporate real-world movements with the screen view. In the future, the availability of headsets will make it possible for library users to experience different worlds.

    VR technology growth is an indicator that things are changing in the research landscape: academic librarians and/or provosts looking to enhance research experiences need to pay attention this topic. Investment in a VR space will enable institutions to offer more value to students; these spaces and technology programs can further enhance student success. For example, a VR program might provide an enhanced experience such as being at the Grand Canyon, adding a new way for students to use information.
    Library planning for VR

    Planning these spaces will require new program ideas with a flexible library design. This isn’t about individual learning; virtual reality library will be a group space. Additionally, we will need programs and designs that offer safeguards for the distracted. Incorporating this new technology will require a library program that will help drive collaboration, knowledge and innovation in order to meet the needs of tomorrow.

    The five P’s–purpose, place, people, programs, and partnership–are a starting point for the library staff and knowledge management business teams. They will need to research how to blend library services in both physical and virtual worlds. They will need to offer cultural and educational experiences in both physical and virtual learning environments. VR technology has the potential to drive innovation, enabling research to happen all in one room or space. ACA can help libraries determine the hardware, software and spatial requirements for the virtual reality library.

    Below is a picture of Project Morpheus for PS4

  • Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues

    Libraries with No Limits: Navigating the Digital Landscape

    We see libraries with no limits, based on the expansion of digital content. But the expansion of digital material leads to the need for a guide. According to Eric Maslowski, co-director of the Digital Media Commons at the University of Michigan, “I think of us as Sherpas through the digital landscape.” This “guide” analogy is apt: Libraries offer both access to expensive tools and unique knowledge of the tools offered. Thus, a “digital Sherpa” can lead you to your research article or support you through your learning journey.

    Libraries have been evolving for years; the need for space and service planning is ongoing. The academic library has been under pressure to change: from competing academic services that keep University libraries from gaining momentum, to a need for long-term investments in the physical building. We work with academic librarians and academic service specialists to develop an effective Learning Commons. We help counter limits on librarians’ effectiveness and on the space available for study, research and digital “mountaineering.” Effective spaces enable staff to effectively guide students and faculty to the right material.

    We are working on a new Library Operations Model. It focuses on the service platforms. It offers two advantages over traditional modes:

    1. Focus
    2. Speed

    To begin, gather a strategic planning team and start a self study. We can help develop activities to guide you through library service changes. If you need some ideas on how to start a workshop, take a look at Amy Hewitt’s SOAR sample agenda.

    Next Generation Library Vision