• Library Planning Research

    Frog in the Well Can Not Understand What is an Ocean…

    As part of our continuing effort to unlock the secrets to success, we would like you to reflect on a poem by Chuang-Tzu. He stated, “A frog in a well cannot be talked with about the sea — he is confined to the limits of his hole.” As a workshop facilitator and library planning consultant, we need to understand how online sessions can be effective – why one session was more effective than others. We’ve been fortunate enough to work for many library organizations; on building projects, IT and collection related programs with gifted healthcare researchers, city/town managers, architects, IT, campus facilities managers, University librarians, administrators, educators and leaders of their communities. From these projects, we’ve learned some insights that might help you in the ocean of online learning. Hopefully, this will help you think outside of the box.

    We found that virtual conferencing (zoom, gotomeeting, etc.) is filled with challenges to communicate, and the relationships between the video screen and attention span of the user can be a problem. There are proxemic issues with the distance between the screen and our environment. We can’t feel the people in the room; their presence or the warmth of their company.

    We found, in almost all meetings of 8 or more workshop attendees, the social norm was to keep quiet or to speak only a minimum amount. People broke this rule and took over the conversation, and others let them fill the airtime.

    The fact is educational programming can help human beings adapt and work together in the online world. Most unhappy online users do not bother to provide feedback and they stop using the service and move on. To make your education workshops effective, try out the following Aaron Cohen Associates, ltd strategies:

    • Make the meetings work for you, structure the time to achieve your agenda
    • Narrow the strategies to the ones that will be investigated
    • Prep for the discussion by developing and using preselected questions
    • Do not rely on only one planning session to get everything done (this is a process)

    When you introduce our approach for planning make sure you understand your team will be nervous about the future. It could take time and enable heated discussions, but thoughtful souls will prevail.

    Planning a New Library

    Do you have questions about how to build effective online learning platforms? Consider the work by Edward T. Hall who believed that “virtually everything that man is and does is associated with the experience of space” or that “man’s evolution has been marked by the development of the “distance receptors — sight and hearing.” Edward T Hall analyzed the ways in which people interacted with each other without using words. He understood that culture affects peoples choices, creating patterns of behavior.

    “The patterning of perceptual worlds is a function not only of culture but of relationship, activity, and emotion. Therefore, people from different cultures, when interpreting each other’s behavior, often misinterpret the relationship, the activity, or the emotions. This leads to alienation in encounters or distorted communications.” – The Hidden Dimension

    Our planning process will make ideas a profitable reality by generating the next generation library program. The following is a check list of five self starters to help guide you.

      1. Master Planning Goals
      2. What did you learn from past projects?
      2. Barriers for Success
      3. Create a Library of Resources

    CONTACT US

    Frog in the Well Can Not Understand What is an Ocean…Chuang-Tzu is an ancient poem that gives you a perspective on the challenges associated with master planning online services.

  • Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues

    REALM Update (five simple rules for managing uncertainty)

    Imagine that we asked you to invent a new kind of library for a new society that lives online. The task is too vague for a team to build and yet that is what we are faced with today. The next 100 hundred days can be a productive time for your library. In fact, it is normal for a library consulting project to last 100 days. Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD starts with our data gathering workshops, tools for building strategies and programs for the future.

    Let’s pose a narrower question – How are you going to manage uncertainty during the pandemic?

    The October Webinar for REALM was so popular people couldn’t log in. So, we provided the slides link HERE FOR REALM UPDATE SLIDES FROM OCT 8TH WEBINAR

      There are five simple rules for managing uncertainty:

    • Most data will be incomplete (there are always unknowns)
    • Different people interpret data differently. It is best to ask for feedback from different groups to determine the consensus.
    • We may never know the final answer to our questions. We have to use the data available to make good decisions. Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD says break them down, define and measure the results to confirm the evidence.
    • Use real world experience to complement controlled experiments
    • Acknowledge the complexity, admit your limitations and explore all options

    In conducting its research, REALM learned that quarantine and isolation mitigate contamination of resources. It illustrated that this challenge is unlike anything in our 50 year history. The webinar showed that we need to think inside and outside of the box. It illustrated that library managers need to generate a list of solid ideas. They need to encourage their people to go wild and think outside the box, and they need a team focused on slicing and dicing the old boxes. The problem with this challenge is that most libraries don’t have a methodology to work through the issues.

    The fact is, all pandemics violate the fundamentals of normal human activity. We need to work together and consider the challenges. Maybe we can’t gather in a room to discuss, but we can share knowledge, time and energy. Finally, because everyone knows you cannot force people to come up with good ideas, we can not settle and produce nothing. Should you want to be more strategic about the collections and services, you can start by developing a project using the library planning methodology / sample below.

    CONTACT US

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  • Library Planning Research,  Space Planning,  work in progress

    Defining Metrics for Library Services

    Librarians can provide effective and efficient ways of delivering services to their users by understanding their role. Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD has developed organizational staff plans that allow leadership to get the pulse of the library. Is it stable? Are there areas of concern? We use three common measurements to determine the health of the library – users, collections and staff. Each of these variables are analyzed by our team, considering the limits and potentials for the organization.

    We live in an ever-changing community in which new trends and challenges are constantly evident. Take for example, the peoples university concept, Libraries regularly provide education support. We provide use case needs assessments, statistical gathering and in-depth studies that will define the resources and education to develop and staff new competencies.

    Do you know the needs of your users (and non-users)? Have you ever done an evaluation of how well the collections supports these needs?

    The library is a dynamic environment that can provide a range of opportunities from makerspaces to the enhancement of reader service. You can improve library facilities and services with a library program. You can start the process by developing a “culture of assessment.” Here, you can involve all employees and partners in a collaborative process. An evidence-based assessment that encourages collaboration in order to collect objective and user-centered data for use in decision making. This may be your opportunity to grow. CONTACT US

    PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

    Already many communities are meeting the challenge and forging new models for both the physical and virtual delivery of library and educational service. This includes the development of digital asset management systems and communities of practice to support it.

    The increasing role of librarians in online education is not something new. For years, there have been collaborative projects with the University library, student success and tutoring, disability services and advancement. According to the founders page Cal State Monterrey Bay, Janie Silveria stated, “Librarians don’t teach? That would get to us because that was the core of what we were doing. And it was more of a one on one kind of interaction and a small class single session rather than an ongoing Information Literacy kind of course. We did things in the community. We did research. We did publications. So one of the things I and we did was to promote the Library as a resource and promote librarians as helpful educators who would work with other classroom faculty and work with students to create the best learning experiences.”

    We need to understand the dimensions of your community to enhance service delivery. Community needs are easily taken for granted. Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD offers detailed metrics on library service performance. In addition to service visioning, we can help overcome changes in space planning, and technological advancements. To do this, we can provide a measurement framework that will balance the future with today’s needs. Kind of like a medical chart for your library.

      Here are a few suggestions to get started:

    • Make investments into digital collection(s) governance. Dramatically alter the organizations information landscape. This includes automation training, workflows and quality assurance.
    • We know that donors like hearing about the library’s vision, and there are ways to enhance the vision through a series of listening sessions/workshops. We include gamification into our work, which makes the workshops an energetic and productive experience.
    • Develop joint learning outcomes and an assessment plan team.
      (Each team will create its own set of learning outcomes and assessment tools)
    • Encourage more partners (faculty, tutors, etc.) to hold office hours with the library.
      (Provide at least one hour per week to support each course or program, and develop an evaluation form to document user experiences)
    • Train “library tutors” to help users with research projects.
      (Training your community to help other users, make the link between partners and the library, provide quality resources to improve student papers)
    • Develop more structured learning spaces in the library.
      (Create additional learning pod spaces, the study participants can help identify strategies to provide such space)

    Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD has several ways of measuring how well a library is achieving its mission. If you need leadership to move a master plan forward, we can support your community and organization members to participate in the project. We will make sure that library stays connected to its service mission.

    We need to recognize that the library’s job has changed in the online world. We provide new library programs for our clients. CONTACT US

  • Library Planning Research,  work in progress

    Leadership in Times of Change

    What makes an innovation successful? As our library project experience suggests, all disruptive changes require leadership that is adaptive and well prepared for the future. According to Ronald Heifetz, Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School, “We need leadership in societies when there are a new set of challenges — when we need to learn new ways of doing things — that challenge to learn new ways is a discovery process.” Contact Us Library Master Plan.

    To guide you in determining a new leadership strategy, we introduce adaptive leadership. It will help you manage the 21st century library by learning to re-fashion loyalties and develop new competencies. It will help you develop a library program, which will enable you to break down the components of your library and improve the performance of the service.

    Consider technical and adaptive work strategies in your organization. Think about it – on one side technical work is clearly defined and on the other side adaptive work requires training. What made the adaptive work successful? Adaptive Leadership.

    Adaptive Leadership is an Activity:

    • Authority
    • Personality
    • Knowledge
    • Adaptive Values

    There is no short term thinking when you are being an adaptive leader, identifying the strengths of your organization requires a bit of zooming in and zooming out of the issues. We can help your team increase and encourage adaptive work. Adaptive work is experimental and it requires a project management framework to ensure success.

    Someone told me a few days ago that the people with the problems are the problem, and they are also the solution. We can breakdown the challenges between aspirations and reality, providing a library program with defined service responses. CONTACT US.

    Our planning methods will enable you to identify leadership characteristics within your team. There is no one set of abilities that defines leadership.

    • Our programming can be used as a strategy to build your teams foundation.
    • We can start with a set of trusted listening sessions.
    • Each session begins by addressing the challenges people are facing.
    • We build on the strengths of the team by sharing our knowledge of library services.
    • We train the library staff to plan and help the team improvise during this time.

    Our planning framework will enable you to develop a knowledge management team. Together we will see which parts of your current business are most vulnerable, and just as important, which programs give you strength. According to Albert Einstein, “If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it.” Check out this great video on leadership by Ronald Heifetz.

  • Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues

    Trusting Team Planning (build the courage to lead)

    “Courage is a prerequisite for all leadership,” Brené Brown says. And it can be taught. It’s made up of four skills: being vulnerable is the most important, followed by sticking to values, trusting others and persistence. There can be no courage without vulnerability and no vulnerability without the risk of failure. “One of the things that we learned in the research,” she says, “is that people who have the skills to get back up from a fall will engage in smarter risks and more courageous behaviors than people who don’t.”

    It must be emphasized that a good program and plan will help you develop the next generation library. Planning is part of management and occurs in times of change, particularly when there are budget concerns. Many libraries undertake strategic planning as part of their responsibilities for annual budgeting. However, it is how these service plans are developed and implemented that matters. It is how you communicate the plan that is important. Our trusted team workshop framework helps improve the quality of library services.

    If you are starting a new library program or plan, you can develop a series of listening activities to encourage communication. Facilitation of the trusted service / listening session workshops can be done for communities of varying sizes, including local areas, the county or state. Outcomes include:

    • A Communication Plan / Working group
    • Management plan
    • Social and Cultural plan
    • Space / Environmental plan
    • Annual Budget Support
    • New Partnerships
    • Capital Planning Agreements

    Our library consultant trusted service / listening session workshops are based on involving a range of stakeholders (local leaders, business partners, school and education, etc.) in the planning process. Our team seeks out those who have a stake in the local community and ensures that their ideas and issues are addressed in the planning process.

    Addressing the Needs of Your Community
    There are four strategies you can employ to start building a better understanding of your community needs:

    • Benchmark Needs Analysis
    • Comparative Needs
    • Community Needs
    • Identified Needs

    We can help you separate strategies from “power over” to “power with”. Our trusted team building workshops, will help you collect information that conveys the necessity of not just discussing difficult issues but “rumbling” on them.

    What does your community get out of the process?
    As our library consultants develop a schedule to meet online with our trusted service / listening sessions, it is important to remember that those involved need to gain something out of the library planning process. We will deliver a planning report that will help organize the issues by quoting from stakeholders and leadership. Note, it is important to ensure that there is transparent process, so you can really use the information to build a better future.

    Trusting Team / Infinite Mindset

    According to Simon Sinek (the infinite game) Finite games have known players fixed rules and a clear endpoint. The winners and losers are easily identified like a game of chess. In the infinite game, there are no winners or losers. Conceptually, think of the trusting team exercise as a continual process to create your own rules. You can help your community embrace each others mindset to build stronger, innovative and inspiring knowledge platforms and library organizations.

    We work with Public Libraries, Education and IT Management Leaders, helping them adapt to the infinite mindset. This includes advancing a just cause, supporting team education and build a trusting team. The circle of trust will help your community build the courage to lead.

    Without trusting teams all the cracks in the library’s working relationships with faculty, instructional resources, and students are hidden or ignored, which if allowed to continue for any length of time will compound and spread until things start to break up. In this time of the coronavirus, we need to build circles of trust. Our workshops will help your organization adapt to the new environment and build a better future. It is safe to engage in this process – listening sessions and workshops help build a better future.

    CONTACT LIBRARY CONSULTANT FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE TRUSTING TEAM PROGRAMMING WORKSHOP

  • Library Planning Research,  library technology,  work in progress

    Blasting Off into the Knowledge Management Environment

    Learning environments can be analyzed as a complex entity comprising many different factors. We have developed many types of library programs and know that some interactions are more important than others. Online learning is changing the rules for students and teachers, offering them a chance to function differently. They can have a more central role in their own learning environment with a knowledge management approach.

    During our library science research, we found that Communities of Practice (CoPs) highlight the personal foundation upon which relationships are formed, disregarding geographical, functional boundaries or unit constrictions. We know that motivation is often build on the environment, tasks, contexts and work interests in action. According to Prusak, “communities of practice represents how individuals perform their jobs on daily basis contrary to the formal policies operated. The concept facilitates co-operation within groups. Indeed, social capital allows access to the information and knowledge shared by others.”

    Aaron Cohen Associates – Knowledge Management Consultants

    After two decades of library programming and planning, learning environments have entered the knowledge management age. We call this the trusted service plan. It is based on building communities of practice and activities to build trust. Factors believed most significant in defining the range of online environmental relationships pertinent to student success and/or organizational teams.

    Mobile technologies, laptops, and advances in library content management software now make it possible for librarians to link into online education platforms (Canvas, Odigia, Blackboard, Microsoft Teams, etc.) and offer knowledge management services. It is now possible to share vast amounts of information with your community, build on the individuals, support local businesses that makeup the Trusted Learning Environment (tutors, teachers, educators, etc.).

    We can capture student learning outcomes and build a new type of library organization based on data analysis and strategic planning outcomes. We are keen to explore better ways to interact with the library’s data and the knowledge management environment. We have analyzed learning platforms and library systems to support intranet systems (document management, content management, library management systems, RFID, automation).

    Access Grid

    In the 2000’s, our firm was engaged in a series of knowledge management studies focusing on online communication – virtual environments. We toured research facilities and learned about the Access Grid (ex. Zoom.us, GotoMeeting, etc.). We analyzed how knowledge management would change and impact work space. We analyzed the technology that would ultimately change education and research. These library management projects taught us that architectural programming standards was morphing from large offices to systems thinking from paper based business into knowledge management. From using one office to a multiverse of rich and deep connectivity.

    Go Boldly into the Future

    When you boldly create the world’s newest technology you need to manage the risks. According to Laurence Young, Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology, “altered gravity environments, such as those experienced by astronauts, impact spatial orientation perception, and can lead to spatial disorientation and sensorimotor impairment.” Knowledge management environments can be just as confusing. Make sure you understand how learning is operated both in the physical and virtual world.

    Young Writes that Eye Motion, Balance and Manual Control are important aspects of space flight systems.
    We know that a knowledge management system includes: communities of practice, social capital and intellectual expertise. What constitutes your learning environment?
    CONTACT AARON COHEN ASSOCIATES, LTD

    Click here for a Video From our Library Consultant Principle.

    knowledge management

  • Library Planning Research

    New Library Trees to the Cloud

    The evolution of digital media has enhanced global perspectives in all facets of business, increasing the range, scope, and accessibility of libraries. Due to the tremendously impact-full influence of Covid, its impact on learning, behavior, and social interaction has become a widely discussed topic of study. According to Barbara Guzzetti, ASU, we are constantly studying and synthesizing the research of academic scholars, community educators, and developers of civic programs. Now, it is time to develop an efficient system to manage digital assets (links, doc, ebooks, media, journal databases). It is paramount to maximize your business library. Planting trees in the cloud takes time — the sooner you develop a strategy for digital asset management, the better you will do.

    Being able to quickly find, distribute and share library assets can save time searching for files. When your files and data cannot be located opportunities are missed. Sometimes you give up and go into creating or repurchasing the database. We have found that some libraries are lost forever, because the library was not properly cataloged and/or archived.

    Do I need a digital library?

    • Do you have Unstructured digital assets? files in systems that don’t relate to today’s business?
    • Do you see your Website and marketing collateral materials as an asset? Do they have a consistent image and branding message?
    • Do you have an IT security plan to safeguard personal files?
    • Are some assets not cataloged? on a server or individual computers?
    • Do you waste time saving files and finding out that team members don’t know about it?
    • Are there are multiple final versions of the file?
    • Do you work with cloud applications and would like to re-purpose content from one system to another?

    Development of a Unified Information Service Plan

    If the answers above are YES – A digital asset library plan is something you should consider. The library planning study creates a path to success because we can identify the key stakeholders – anyone who creates and uses library content – engage with the team to raise and support funding.

    By involving our library planning experts, you will get a better idea of your user needs and pinpoint the low hanging fruit. We can create a holistic view of the entire library workflow.

    Planting New Trees in the Clouds

    Choosing Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD to program your digital library system will help increase library use. Study outcomes include: increased funding, improved organization chart, job descriptions and workflow. We can ensure you achieve the results your team desires.

    Digital Asset Library Planning involves people, processes and technology. Our digital asset management consultants are experts in all three. CONTACT LIBRARY CONSULTANT

  • Library Planning Research

    Digital Burrito

    It is crucial to find ways to protect learning outcomes during the current pandemic. Going forward, we need to build a library system that combines all of the best practices available. Over the past month, educators have been grappling with the options to open schools. However, the schools are not equipped to deal with the spatial changes required and success requires more study. This is not a simple programming exercise, because social distancing and best practices in library design need to be considered.

    Here is a Covid Programming Guide that provides a list of places and activities ranked on a scale of 1-10 for risk of contracting COVID-19, with 10 being the riskiest and 1 the least dangerous. This was first published by MLive. Below are links to the four public health experts who assessed the risks for various activities pose to spreading coronavirus.

    Dr. Matthew Sims, Beaumont Health director of infectious disease research
    Dr. Dennis Cunningham, McLaren Health Care medical director for infection prevention
    Dr. Mimi Emig, retired infectious disease specialist with Spectrum Health
    Dr. Nasir Husain, Henry Ford Macomb medical director for infection prevention


    Pass the Hot Sauce
    Our research finds that the vast majority of libraries can be safe places for people. Libraries rank at the lower end of the ranking system by medical personnel, which gives us hope that investments in new libraries and library spaces will make the difference. Our experiences evaluating the impacts of Covid provides a few library service strategies to focus on:

    1. Customer journey management
    2. Digital integration
    3. Safe staff services
    4. Adaptive spaces
    5. Hybrid service innovation

    The Digital Burrito
    What is hybrid service innovation? The expanding options that digital business offers can improve library services to the community.

    Chipotle Mexican Grill is a hybrid service innovator, who saw efficiencies in the web 2.0 and built food services on top of it. Since our work focuses on library design and digital services, Chipotle is the type of innovator that gets our attention. Libraries are also places where you need a snack and a burrito is a quick fix. On the other hand, these are not normal times. Here are some effective Digital Burrito strategies that can be considered:

    1. Develop Concepts with drive-thru lanes, and click and collect services

    2. Develop digital ordering and create new environmental relationships (offer room bookings, reservations for study space, etc.).

    3. Provide the same customization experience online as you would for a patron at your door

    A little history…
    Since 1972, we have develop profiles of libraries as library consultants. At first Aaron Cohen Associates would design the brick and mortar spaces for book collections and preservation environments. Later the collections, staff, and user needs changed. We employed the visual scan of physical space and virtual services to understand the users needs. We challenged what constitutes a learning environment.

    Our assessment services were built on simplified analytics (# collections, # seats, # staff), which we would apply to different learning environments. We narrowed down the libraries challenges and measured the performance of different space/services planning options. Recently, we developed our own digital burrito – combining these skills to develop the next generation library.

    Benchmarking Libraries – Make Your Own Burrito
    ACA has been bench-marking library services against our own library programming work for years. We also studied the best libraries and library systems in the world – to name a few: Stanford University, UC California System, NYPL, Queens Public Library, British Library, University of Texas, National Library of Singapore, National Library of the Netherlands and New South Wales Libraries to name a few. In defining a specific environmental relationship, think about the following questions:

    What constitutes a learning environment?
    Who is the learner or group of learners you are serving?
    What is the learning activity being performed?

    CONTACT US.

    We can help redesign existing spaces and solve workflow challenges. We can investigate library physical spaces, brick and mortar collections, staff, and digital library users. We can provide the following:

    1. Visual scan of library services
    2. Needs Assessments Services
    3. Simplified analytics
    4. Library Performance Measurement
    5. Digital Library to Support Online Learning

    CONTACT LIBRARY CONSULTANT

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

    Learning Environment Design: Digital Library Community

    Regardless of the type of learner, gaming is likely to become a common online learning strategy for many schools. For libraries, it is a necessity that the nature and scope of services include online communities. Any investigation of online learning relationships must therefore take into consideration the particular goals, the methods and tasks that may be involved in each learning activity.

    Modular design is an implicit part of online learning, vis., a user progression from something good to something better to something still better. To better make way for the new and more desirable, our design team takes advantage of services planning activities. We study the users and community and provide a structure to the service plan and team organization. Below is an outline of a modular design approach. You may use this approach to develop your online library design.

    • Narrative
    • Player powers
    • Strategic initiative
    • Strategic options
    • Structures and systems
    • Game board / scope of services


    Mindcraft in the Library (online community building example)

    By relating a set of learning goals, methods and tasks to new library services and then relating these service functions to a matrix of factors that make up a learning environment, it becomes possible to identify the individual functions of an online user. There are examples of library programs that introduce and encourage online communities and online learning. Mindcraft in the library is an example of a community gaming program that builds online learning skills. Public Libraries use it to engage young learners, which is a great start.

    According to AMY HITCHNER – metadata librarian at Arthur Lakes Library – Coloarado School of Mines Colorado Virtual Library – there are a few steps to take before starting a program:

    • Do your research and reach out to libraries who already implement Minecraft in the library.
    • Make sure you have someone with a basic understanding of computers and networks (or someone who has time to learn and support the game and its server).
    • Make sure you have buy-in from your colleagues (and your supporting IT staff!).
    • Starting a Minecraft service in your library takes time to set up and get going. Take the time to research, share your findings with staff, and roll out your program in a timely manner. The kids may want it NOW, but reassure them you want to do it right.


    We develop case studies

    By setting up a series of case-studies that bring various selected users into focus for critical examination, data can be obtained that will allow the library to improve its customer journey. The new online library services will enable users to express themselves in a constructive way, develop awareness skills and provide a way for online participants to socialize with other community members. Contact LIBRARY CONSULTANT TO DEVELOP YOUR ONLINE LIBRARY PLAN


    Interface Framework to Consider

    According to Herbert A Simon, a proponent of MITs curriculum for the emerging science of engineering design / educators and author of The Sciences of the Artificial, learning requires an “interface” between an “inner” environment, the substance and organization of the student/user, and an “outer” environment, the surroundings in which it operates. If the inner environment is appropriate to the outer environment, or vice versa, the learner will meet their intended goals. We can help you develop your online library strategy. We can realize new types of learning engagement to enable students to work, play and study.

    Below are four tips to help support the diverse needs of students during distance-learning/online learning:

    1 Help students become part of a trusting team
    2 Help community members develop new routines and strategies
    3 Keep the easy part — easy
    4 Find new ways for community members to meet and share online
    5 Engage students / community members — keep up positive relationships

    Continual change is an implicit part of Learning Environments. Fostering social interaction, creativity and innovation is an opportunity not to be missed. Gaming can make remote learning and training engaging and real. Contact LIBRARY CONSULTANT TO DEVELOP YOUR ONLINE STRATEGY

    DIGITAL LIBRARY CASE STUDY

  • Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues,  Space Planning

    Learning Pods: Library User Needs

    Value the Present.
    After hundreds of years of delivering physical educational, we are now increasingly transforming education into online collaboration environments. The public library as well as educational institutions still provide story time and reference, but it is not so simple. We need to be aware that individual learners need services based on collaboration. Not having a plan for the individual learner can lead to a decrease in student success. OK. Let’s parse that – creating a library plan for the individual learner ensures a stronger educational response and improves outcomes for students.

    Bring Your Whole Self, Not Just the Best Plan
    Like many others caught in our current circumstances. You must have high standards for your learning engagement platform and be ready for extra scrutiny. You can shine by putting the spotlight on safe individual learning and a magnifying glass on adaptive strategies to encourage library use. These can be both physical and online services.

    According to Mitchel Resnick (MIT media Lab) and Brian Silverman (Playful Invention Company), the following principles for constructing a learning kit are:

    • Low Floor and Wide Walls
    • Make Powerful Ideas Salient – Not Forced
    • Support Many Paths, Many Styles
    • Make it as Simple as Possible – and Maybe Even Simpler
    • Choose Black Boxes Carefully
    • A Little Bit of Programming Goes a Long Way
    • Give People What They Want – Not What They Ask For
    • Invent Things That You Would Want to Use Yourself
    • Iterate, Iterate – then Iterate Again

    They studied gaming to support learning and making things. (Reflections on Designing Learning Kits)

    Learning Pods & Masks
    Having a strategy for your library user is a start. In the hybrid world, we need to understand the risks in your physical environment and provide strategies to support learning activities. We need to examine the potential needs and build solutions to support learning behavior, interactions and interactivity.

    Given that online education is often not suited to support the individual learner here are some guidelines that can be used to support your library planning.

    1. Create an Online or Physical Library Environment that encourages safe access (low floor)
    2. Create an Online or Physical Library Environment that encourages expert users to create their own research (high ceiling)
    3. Create an Online or Physical Library Environment with Wide Walls – i.e. provide cultural exchanges that enhance personal experiences
    4. Create Open Windows to facilitate the sharing of collections, partnerships, social media programs and communications

    CONTACT US TO CREATE A PROGRAM FOR YOUR ONLINE and PHYSICAL LIBRARY DESIGN.

    Create an effective and coherent strategy for organizing, analyzing and deploying library activities for individual learners. CONTACT AARON COHEN ASSOCIATES

    learning with covid