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

    Library as an Incubator

    The idea that a library can be an incubator space and a place for innovation is something many librarians and educators share. We believe libraries can be learning hubs. They can be developed with a solid understanding of learning space design and library planning measurements. For example, “U.S. Plans Global Network of Free Online Courses,” the US government is going to develop “learning hubs” or incubator libraries.

    For Lila Ibrahim, the president of Coursera, “The learning hubs represent a new stage in the evolution of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, and address two issues: the lack of reliable Internet access in some countries, and the growing conviction that students do better if they can discuss course materials, and meet at least occasionally with a teacher or facilitator.”

    Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD developed five different learning modes that will support the development of the Library as an Incubator or Learning Hubs

      1. Develop reflective spaces for focused work
      2. Create collaborative spaces that can be facilitated – teacher/tutor/mentor/geek squad/librarian
      3. Design social interactions with touch-points
      4. Develop program, classroom and presentation spaces to run programs.

    In collaboration with Georgia Institute of Technology, we held a workshop on the Library as an Incubator on Oct. 26, 2013. The program explored our unique planning methodology. Our host Charlie Bennett provided examples of how to develop innovation spaces and maker spaces. He will be speaking for the TEDX Telfairstreet and Tinker, Teacher, Maker, Space: Two Co-working Experiments in the Academic Library @ LITA 2013.

    Our workshop took us on a Visual Scan tour of the library’s collaboration spaces.


  • Library Planning Research

    E-book Readers, Streaming Media and the Library Plan

    The growing demand for e-book readers is changing the way we access books, creating new opportunities for libraries to reach out and find new patrons. According to Pew Internet, the percent of U.S. adults with an e-book reader doubled from 6% to 12% between November 2010 and May 2011.

    In a national poll conducted from Aug 15-18, 2013 by the USA Today and Bookish, finds a growing community that both literary and digital. Forty percent, including 46% of those younger than 40 say they have an e-reader such as Amazon’s Kindle, or a tablet such as Apple’s Ipad.

    – 24% of parents have an e-reader
    – 32% of parents have a Tablet.
    – E-Books now account for almost 20% of all book sales
    – Sales of e-books increased 42% in 2012.
    – Among patrons 16 years old and older, 40% visited libraries to borrow movies.


    Adults younger than age 65, college graduates and those living in households with incomes of at least $75,000 are most likely to own e-book readers. Parents are also more likely than non-parents to own these devices.


    The library’s space can be designed to enhance e-book, mobile browsing and media streaming experiences. Libraries can deliver ways to build e-book socials; experiences such as book clubs and story time with e-readers and tablets.

    According to “Now at your library: Streaming movies, music,” Midwest Tape is moving forward with a streaming media program. As of early September, there are about 220,000 people using the Midwest Tape app, said Michael Manon, Hoopla‘s brand manager. The goal is to reach 100 library systems by year’s end.

    It is time to create libraries that reflect changes in technology, enhancing learning strategies to develop social, collaborative, reflective and presentation spaces. Libraries have always been a source for different learning modes whether you are looking for a quiet space or a group to meet to study. The growing demand for e-book readers and streaming media are giving a big boost to learning, we should encourage it.




  • Library Planning Research,  Space Planning

    The Library Incubator / The New Digital Canvas

    We are developing a knowledge base on how to leverage virtual collections in the physical environment. There is a potential to create presentation spaces in the library for both information literacy and knowledge sharing. At Wentworth Institute of Technology, we developed a concept of the media tower. Was this a futuristic idea? Or has the time come for new ways to visualize information?

    Library environments include collections, seating and staff spaces. The collections are placed on different types of print shelving from face out displays for periodicals to 7-shelf high stacks for books. Some of the questions we are researching:

    Is it possible to create serendipity in the Library environment; as books on shelves do, with microtiles?

    Could we develop interactive environments that support scholarly learning and information literacy programs? How would it be staffed?

    Could we develop interactive environments for early learning, teens, adults and seniors? How would it be supported?

    The media wall is a large screen environment that allows for touch screen as well as xbox connect interactions. It can be used for collaboration in a performance or presentation mode. At the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, they developed the Float4. It is a good example of how you can create a learning incubator.

    Also, take a look at the work at Christie Microtiles. Below is a Photo from the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.


  • Library Planning Research

    The Library Incubator / Start a Self Study

    It is certain that experience helps a person prepare for change. Our workshops give librarians and academics an opportunity to learn from our planning methodologies. The development of a library is continual, evolving after each update to the physical and virtual environment.

    Almost everyone has had occasion to look back upon renovation projects and wonder what has become of the knowledge gained. Indeed, we are lucky to retain a series of ‘building programs” that outline library space planning models.

    To get started on your own library space planning project visit: Learning Space Toolkit – It is a great web site to learn about planning and the types of activities needed to start your own self study. When the question is asked, then, what is the plan? You will have a starting point to begin discussions about either doing it yourself or hiring a Library Consultant.

    We are excited about our workshop at the Georgia Institute of Technology on Oct 26th, please go to: Library Workshop at the Georgia Institute of Technology – Oct 26, 2013

    Below is an image of the Visual Scan – Behavioral Bubble Concept…

    Visual Scan