We know that the library must position itself differently in the 21st century. The books and spaces are part of the library building, but the library is also the primary non-classroom academic space on campus. It supports the student life cycle needs including the development of research assets and research skills. According to Educause Top 10 Library / IT Trends for 2020, optimizing the user experience is an important trend in library science.
When students arrive on any campus, they are looking for guidance on how to be successful. If they find the library as a destination, they are likely to succeed at their grades and graduate on time. So, it is important for academic libraries to create an environment that enables students to be supported early in their studies. And as their college career unfolds, offer work environments and start up group work spaces.
When we develop a library program it includes high-quality collaboration spaces with and without technology. The academic resources spaces we including in our building programs include tutoring, writing, math, science center space. They are strongly linked with academic programs on campus, creating opportunities for student success.
LOOKING FORWARD TO 2020
In 2020, we will see more demand for individual study spaces as midterms and exams approach. In 2019, we were shocked by the amount of students who found that the library didn’t have enough space during mid terms or enough group spaces for project based work. It strengthened our resolve to re-balance our library programming, offering libraries more flexible / adaptable spaces.
Our latest strategy is to develop library service programs that allow our clients to build the digital services and a improve the physical user experience. Indeed, we provide academic library space programs and service planning for librarians. We also develop master plans that allows our clients, for example, to change their learning environments from group spaces to individual work areas – configured for individual achievement when the semester requires and offered as a group space during the semester.
WORKING WITH IT and FACILITIES TO CREATE DIGITAL EXPERIENCES
We have been working on the library’s user experience and the challenges posed by IT and facilities for a long time. Our research has shown that all users need the same type of library information services including access to e-resources and databases. But they really need digital asset management skills, tools and training i.e. working with content and data creation tools. This issue is important for the library to plan for now, because the library needs to be known as a central destination for basic content and data science skills building. Many of our clients need digital asset management systems to support both researcher and small business / start up development on campus. Librarians can help in this area.
How are libraries working with the IT organization to optimize students’ experiences?
1. Develop a shared project with IT
2. Analyze how digital asset management can be deployed to support student/researcher content generation and management.
3. Develop a plan to improve your library services by investing in behavior learning space analysis and programming. Create a plan for the libraries space to be used to the maximum – what are students doing in the space and what digital resources are available for students to create their own research portal.
4. Develop a plan to improve your user experience – if that means creating a digital asset management system to help manage scholarly research, start with a prototype and build the future.
5. Create a master library plan that includes both library space and service needs.
Today’s library is a social space, and a place to work collaboratively. It provides spaces to focus on your class work, but it is also built on a library collection. There are different types of collection development activities and different space needs for different users. In 2020, this trend will continue and librarians who build a bridge between these services will be successful on campus. Below is an example of a Rose State Community College tutor waiting for a student to work on a project. It is an example of the support librarians provide to students in the library.