Posts Tagged #librarydesign

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

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Developing a Library Incubator

Are there better places to learn on campus or in a community? The library can better serve their community by providing new services and re-vamping existing delivery strategies. According to “where do we go from here? Informing Academic Library Staffing through Reference Transaction Analysis,” mobility, power and technology are changing the way students use the reference desk. In 2010, over 62% percent of undergraduate students owned Internet capable handheld devices.

According to PewInternet, 91% of American adults own a cell phone and many use the devices for much more than phone calls. With the rapid adoption of mobile technologies and advances in all digital resources, libraries need to provide answers to questions wherever we are.

Resource rich environments can be enhanced with touch points that help you navigate to what you need. The library can offer tools that enhances the users ability to operate in the digital cloud. For example, a plan to define the path of travel through the library can be both physical and virtual. There is technology that can react to our needs wherever we are.

Academic libraries are starting to use location based QR codes to support real-time learning activities. Plans that allow users to walk into an area with books or periodicals and connect to the libraries e-resources are being considered. Librarians are developing real-time opportunities for physical and virtual collaboration, providing a platform to support Laphams Quarterly’s art of learning.

Laroi Lawton at Cuny Bronx Community College developed a good starting point for reasons why libraries are important. The list provides some of the reasons that students know and indicate that their library is still relevant, in order of importance:

1. convenient hub
2. socialization
3. motivation
4. collaboration
5. resource rich
6. safe
7. relevant collections
8. distraction free
9. service
10. ambiance

We see the need for libraries continuing into the future. They provide a unique medium based on a long history of programmable space that encourages individuals to succeed. Libraries are places to learn and promote civilized activities. This personal approach towards helping the library user along with their research is the basis of our culture.

There are a wide variety of new mobile technologies and apps that are changing the way people use information. It is time to accept the handheld librarian as the norm and add them to the art of knowing….Join Us at our workshop on Oct 26th at the Georgia Institute of Technology

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The Library Incubator

For libraries, the digital revolution is upending standard methods of service. Increasingly, digital formats are replacing paper formats. Books are still in demand and growing in some sectors; textbooks, fiction and non-fiction, periodicals, etc. are being perused on Ipads, Kindles, Nooks and Iphones too. Because online learning is gaining hold, libraries need new strategies to create value. Once the realm of colleges, today, cultural institutions such as public libraries are beginning to see that direct support for the individual and/or creating a small business incubator is a potential area for success.

Kristin Mcdonough is developing strategies to fund, enhance and serve the NYPL community in the 21st century. The NYPL is awarding libraries with local funding to create new programs such as career support and guidance counselors. For example, the Brooklyn library offers a career coach. Robyn Saunders, a career coach at the Career and Education Information Service at the Bronx Library Center, understands the challenges people have on a job search. She is using the library as an incubator to move from a customary and traditional library service model into on that provides direct community support. Listen to the The Brian Lehrer Show to learn more about their programs to create the library as an incubator.



ACA CONCEPT DISCUSSION

A library incubator is a space designed to provide the community with guidance, tutoring and mentoring whenever they need help. Using a library incubator, users can gain assistance from library staff, or local tutors, academic faculty, or, for that matter, other community members. The incubator, in its feature as a physical touch-point for support, provides areas within the library in which to collaborate and work together, ask questions, share notes and information, and perform research.

A library incubator can function as a linchpin for a series of cultural co-op programs. A blended job support model utilizing co-op and groups programs, can help individuals find a job or create a business. They can use the library to work their way through high school or college, reducing the cost to graduate.

We are conducting a workshop entitled “The Library as an Incubator for Online Learning” at Georgia Tech on October 26th. In light of this, we have created a research challenge to determine the space, functions, technology and activities in the library incubator program. Please feel free to provide feedback on our web site – FEEDBACK FORM

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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.

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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.

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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.

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