• Library Planning Research,  library technology,  work in progress

    Design Thinking Workshop

    Join Us on January 30th at SAP 10 Hudson Yards from 9 to 4pm AT SAP 10 HUDSON YARDS. The Design Thinking Workshop is a methodology developed by IDEO and enhanced by SAP to help businesses, educators, marketing and communication experts and sales administrators develop the next generation business. The workshop will define benchmarks and trends. We will show how to layer technologies that can be integrated into the organizational environment (technology, collections, staff, space, etc.). We will demonstrate how both digital and physical collections use participatory tools such as the digital asset management platforms.

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    REGISTER HERE:
    Click Here

    This workshop allows businesses, foundations, educators, librarians, administrators and marketing teams to learn how to use design thinking to improve staff practices. Our methodology for planning and design will assist in the development of the next-generation business – including corporation, academic, public, school, government, medical and research organizations. Participants will learn our design thinking methodology to build the next generation business environment.


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  • Library Planning Research,  Space Planning

    Which Vision of the Future will best describe your library?

    There are good reasons to do a library plan at the end of the year (Join us Dec 13, 2019 @ Steelcase). It is a good time to get plans started and prepare for the future. The key performance indicators for any library service and/or library staffing project should be defined before the boss asks how much money do you need next year. Our approach is straightforward and easy to understand – Join Us & Get Ahead of the Curve.

    We developed our library planning workshop at Steelcase Worklife almost 20 years ago. Each year, we would hold discussions about the future of the library and participants share stories about their recent projects and the things they wanted to do.

    Over the years, the workshop addressed the need for Quiet and Collaborative, Makerspaces and Flexible Environments. We discussed the information commons, learning commons and the need for books in the library. We shared examples about the changes we witnessed in the library environment – new computer workstations, self check out technology, RFID, and tablets, Ipads and the Andriod revolution in Smartphones. If things were changing, we were discussing it at our Annual Library Planning Workshop.

    Today the lack of planning can distort how the user experience is delivered and whether your library is focusing on the right things. Join Us on December 13, 2019 at Steelcase Worklife – share your vision of the library of the future…

    Share your ideas how the library can be a dynamic learning space, community and cultural space.

  • Library Planning Research,  work in progress

    Demographics and Library Planning

    One aspect of developing a space plan is understanding the demographics of a community. A building program comparing present and future space needs is created when we have a good understanding of how the community is changing. Some factors to consider:

    Population projections for the next twenty years: This will obviously have an impact on space use; if growth is projected, it should be a consideration for future design.

    Education: An education level of high school or above often correlates with higher library usage in populations of the same size. The US Census (American fact finder) reports can detail the percentage of people over the age of 25 who have completed high school or college. This can be a good indicator of the needs of the community and a first step to consider how the community is evolving.

    Median family income levels and percentage employment. For example: if unemployment is high, space and service needs may be affected as more patrons visit the library for employment information or to develop resume building skills.

    Below is an example of an interactive story time program. When we studied this library and its demographics, we saw growth in the number of families with children in the area. This helped us determine the needs for a larger children’s library.

    Want more information about how we can help? – click here –

     

  • Library Planning Research

    Improve the Perception of Your Library “Brand”

    Today, a library “brand” is often supported by a website and an app, in addition to the space. When a library user fails to use the library’s website, the library brand takes a hit. When the library’s design does not provide its intended use, the library decreases in perceived value. Every library is thus invested in the performance of their brand.

    According to our research,  a library is only as effective as its design. For instance, a beautiful library with an atrium has an advantage over a small branch library with no room. On the other hand, if a beautiful library does not provide the right spaces and services, the perceived value declines. To develop an effective design, we study user needs and group interactions. Such behavior translates into what we call the five modes of learning: reflective, social, collaborative, flexible and touch point. For example, users may read quietly or work collaboratively; they need space for both.

    Our library programming work breaks down the library collections, seating and staff requirements. Our methods are built on Schein’s cultural model. Interactions are broken into three cultural modes:

    1. Artifacts and Creations
    2. Espoused Values
    3. Basic Assumptions

    Learn More about Schein’s methods for knowledge management

    To obtain the greatest value, create spaces that relate to user needs. For example, if there is an underused space on campus that is old and out of date it may be time to do a library planning study. When we undertake such a study, visit the campus, facilitate exchanges, and develop a master library plan that is based on interactions between users and their environment.

    Once you complete this type of study, you will be able to categorize user needs, and make your library accessible. This improves the perception of your library “brand.”


    Join us November 30, 2018 at Steelcase NYC for an exciting program to learn about library design, programming and planning.

  • Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues

    How Libraries and Learning Theory are Put into Practice

    Librarians have the opportunity to guide patrons on their quest for research information, both online and in the stacks, gradually aligning the responsibility of the learning to the learner themselves. Directed learning activities (DLAs) can help academic libraries engage in active learning support.

    Instituted by many college libraries and learning resource centers, students can build their skills through the completion of a series of practice activities. DLAs can be effective in teaching grammar, writing, computer technology, Internet navigation, the possibilities are endless.

    In 1968 Malcolm Knowles projected the ancient Greek word “andragogy” into educational discourse, as the art and science of helping students learn. As opposed to pedagogy, andragogy focuses only on the adult learning experience. Terminology aside, in defining a way to reach adult learners educators provide differentiated learning strategies addressing how adults learn in contrast to how children learn.

    Using Bloom’s Taxonomy and adult learning strategies, librarians can create a library service program that can both actively engage and promote cooperative learning amongst students. Libraries can help foster lifelong learning DLA’s to adults and assist with community college retention rates and remediation.

    Shifting from directed learning strategies, libraries offer other opportunities for self-directed learning (SDL).  As a cornerstone of adult learning theory, SDL’s are dominant in the world of e-learning.  The development of hybrid and online courses; digital library archives that provide the learner with unique data mining opportunities. Libraries are natural places for self-directed inquiry and learning.

    How can these adult learning strategies work toward economic growth?

    Self-directed public library spaces can be a useful tool to help small businesses and individuals gain access to information; which in turn contributes to learning opportunities. Libraries provide a useful location for informed collaboration. With endless resources at your fingertips, the library can successfully put theory into practice.

    ThomJlibhoriz Untitled-35

  • Library Planning Research,  Space Planning,  work in progress

    Culture House – the Sound of Library Planning

    It turns out that the noise level in the social “library as place” can be a positive factor in the learning environment. The library can be a social and active place to generate creative ideas as long as the sound level is just right. According to a study, “Is Noise Always Bad? Exploring the Effects of Ambient Noise on Creative Cognition” by the University of British Columbia and the University of Virginia ambient background noise turns out to be an important factor affecting creative cognition among learners. Noise levels at around 70 decibels, equivalent to a passenger car traveling on a highway, enhances performance on creative tasks and increases the likelihood of creative innovation.

    Ravi Mehta, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, stated in “Too much, too little noise turns off consumers, creativity” that “a moderate level of noise not only enhances creative problem-solving but also leads to a greater adoption of innovative products in certain settings.” Mehta and co-authors Rui (Juliet) Zhu, of the University of British Columbia, and Amar Cheema, of the University of Virginia, explored how a moderate-level of ambient noise helps create a positive pattern of behavior.

    The noise study found that there’s an inverted-U relationship between noise level and creativity. It turns out that around 70 decibels is the sweet spot. If you go beyond that, it’s too loud, and the noise starts to negatively affect creativity. It’s the Goldilocks principle – the middle is just right.

    Our planning team works with sound experts to enhance the library / learning commons. We analyze how noise can create positive learning environments. We analyze the impact of sound on the learning environment. For example, our partner Charlie Morrow from Morrow3D sound studies how to integrate noise into international museum exhibitions.

    We know that our clients need sound expertise and knowledge during library planning. This expertise in library, learning commons and museum environments is very important when there is not enough square footage for the community. The noise creates a negative friction that hurts the overall life the library and/or learning space, requiring a knowledgeable team to support planning efforts. Spaces that are planned with the high levels of noise (85 decibels), require a solid program and sound management plan.

  • Library Planning Research

    Library – Learning Commons TouchPoints

    Learning TouchPoints are an important part of the library – learning commons – physical program. The service desks, collaboration bars and hubs can be developed to include visualization TouchPoints; spaces where students, tutors, mentors and faculty can write on the walls. These spaces will help the library staff visualize discovery services; share spaces that will enable the community to work collaboratively with virtual content in the cloud.

    According to Businessweek, interactive designer, Obscura Digital and office furniture manufacturer, Haworth are collaborating to develop a new touch screen, called Bluescape. The set up will cover an entire conference-room wall, displaying images on 15 linked 55-inch flat-screen monitor. It will enable reading hand movements using its 32 specialized sensors. The new learning space design will allow users to add digital sticky notes by uploading documents from other devices, making brainstorming sessions more productive. The visualization space will allow students to shape their discovery activities.

    According to “plugging the innovation gap in our universities?” “Students are no longer sitting idle when it comes to the online experience, they are taking the experience online themselves and going onto Facebook groups, Google groups and setting up online forums.” The students are using online tools for social and educational discovery purposes at the same time. They are engaging with technology to succeed.

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

    I-Library – What about the Learning Commons?

    The Bexar County library will open a prototype digital public library. According to “Paperless Libraries Switch to Digital” – It will have 100 e-readers on loan, and dozens of screens where the public will be able to browse, study, and learn digital skills. However, it’s likely most users will access BiblioTech’s initial holding of 10,000 digital titles anywhere.

    The Learning Commons is a library space that the community can use for multipurpose / multi-functional activities. Conceptually, it is a public space that functions as a modern learning environment. A bookless library that offers just e-readers and desktop computers will find out that the “library as place” is the key their success; a motivating seating space that allows people to work collaboratively or individually.

    According to Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolf in NPR’s “A New Chapter? A Launch Of The Bookless Library – The library is a chance to expand the scope of opportunities for people to learn technology. The world is changing.”

    According to an NPR comment by Michael Hale – “For the past 15 years or so, the public library has become as much of a community center as a place to house a collection. It provides computers for those who cannot afford them, which allows them to construct resumes and do daily activities such as banking or renewing their driver’s license.”

    Below is a picture from our studio. We are working on understanding how spaces relate to each other in the new learning commons. It is a good example of our visualization process and something that is critical to the development of new types of learning spaces.

    Learning Commons Visualization Work

  • Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues

    Making the Learning Commons Mobile

    According to MIT Technology Review “Mobile Computing Is Just Getting Started,” mobile computing is spreading faster than any other consumer technology in history. Almost half of the “late technophobes” have a smartphone, potentially transforming the way we make transactions in the library. In fact, 65% of the worlds citizens don’t have a smartphone yet. By bringing personal computing to the phone means that sharing information from the palm of your hand is really only beginning.

    Mobile computing is changing the way we use information and the way we use the library. For example, Facebook’s share of the time a US smartphone users spends on their apps – 23%. According to Gartner’s “Big Data, Bigger Opportunities Investing in Information Analytics Report,” almost 27% percent of consumers ages 18 to 34 use QR codes. Indeed, the library of the future will be built on various physical + virtual apps – ones that help us find a group study room or arrange to meet at the learning commons for a tutoring session or helps us understand the physical landmarks in a library.

    The killer app isn’t Angry Birds. It is access to computing, library discovery systems, online learning programs and online education. The wireless smart phones and tablets have arrived – it is time to design our learning spaces to take advantage of the mobility of information and our ability to share content to gain knowledge. The blended librarian was correct; its all going mobile.

    Yes, the MOBILE COMMONS is the next interactive space we will be studying at ACA. Below are some visualizations of learning spaces; How will seating change now that we are mobile?

    Contact us via Twitter – libraryconsultant
    @acohen17

    learning commons
    visualizations of the learning commons
  • Library Planning Research,  Space Planning

    Shifting Libraries to Mobile to Support Online Learning

    As library users shift transactions to smart phones and other mobile devises, libraries must anticipate how library users will anchor their cloud-based relationship to a real study environment. We are tracking the transition from local to mobile in our study of libraries and research environments.

    Yesterday, The Georgia Institute of Technology College of Computing announced that it will offer the First Professional Online Master of Science Degree in Computer Science (OMS CS). The course will allow students to earn credits completely through the “massive online” format, using Udacity Inc.

    We believe this is an example of a transformation in higher education away from traditional models of learning to more dynamic approaches. We believe the library will be critical to student success at Georgia Tech both as a virtual space and a physical academic support environment. For example, the library will act as a flipped classroom; a concept that enables the learner to prep before they enter the classroom physical or virtual.

    The flipped classroom learning strategy combined with a learning commons enhances learning activities. It enables students to be infused in the learning experience while they use their mobile learning device wherever they are located. It allows students to meet in the library for programs, labs and study groups – opportunities to build social networks.

    On October 26, 2013, ACA will be doing a library planning workshop at Georgia Institute of Technology. In preparation for this event, we are asking for input on the question – “what is the idea of the library?”

    In all of the discussions about online learning and MOOC’s, we need to remember the personal one-on-one exchanges that can happen in a library or learning commons. There can be skills building opportunities, activated by people sharing a space. It can be a visualization space with flexible technology, tables and seats on casters. It can also include media / technology carts and/or booktrucks with pre-arranged materials.

    Last year, ACA did two library planning projects with Gensler. Both were opportunities to share our library programming and design services. Recently, we noted an article in Dialog – A Gensler Publication – about the transformation taking place in the banking industry. Below is a diagram from their publication.