• Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues,  Space Planning

    The Renovation Starts Here

    If you are planning a major renovation or a new facility, a positive outcome begins with a proven methodology and process. Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD specializes in library programming, with a focus on both space and service. Our workshops showcase innovation and thought leaders. Join us at SAP on January 30th for a free event focused on the library of the future.

    Is there potential relocate or add a new library service or space this year? If so, you must begin to create ideas, so that you will be able to share them with your organization’s leadership and project team. Your ideas and sketches will also help you work effectively with architects and planners.

    If you are ready to learn more about design thinking and how it can cultivate new ideas, join us on Jan 30, 2020. The Future of Libraries event will bring together experts from a wide range of fields and experiences. They will help you define what innovation means to you and how you can identify solutions to design challenges.


  • Library Planning Research

    It’s all about the library user experience…

    It’s never been easier for libraries to improve services – or so it seems. Open, adaptable, activity-based library spaces make people feel like they are part of the community. On the other hand, a recent Harvard Review Study by Ethan S. Bernstein (the truth about open offices) suggests that open offices reduce collaboration. We understand this problem. We analyze library use and find that people are doing more online learning, making zoom or gotomeeting calls requiring new types of libraries to support their needs.

    When did messaging displace phone calls? I don’t remember, but today’s work environment is filled with people texting and communicating. Sometimes person to person conversations are being replaced by a simple text. And Google, Slack and Microsoft now offer collaboration services displacing in-person meetings. How will the libraries respond to this new type of communication? How will the environment be affected?

    We are all living in real time and our physical and technology structures have changed our ability to experience our environments. We now communicate with multi-channel collaboration tools. In the future, we will be activating our space using AI, robots, NFC applications, blockchain systems and smart phones to seamlessly share our activities, relationships and experiences.

    Library Architecture is easy to observe if you understand the context and content of the user experience. There are reasons why library programming is needed. We understand how to define the behavior and help program the services/spaces for the desired interactions. Organically thinking, these individual behaviors together make up an anatomy of service responses – learning support, literacy, digital knowledge and cultural awareness.

    When designing the future try to understand how your library supports the face-to-face meeting, video conferencing, cell phone calls, social media, email, and messaging needs of the user. Are there places for people to do these things? Do you need to analyze our collections, seating and staff spaces? Is it time to make a plan?


  • 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.

    MORE INFO

    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

    Revitalizing Academic Libraries

    Reimagining a University library can breathe new life into it, increasing student success and enhancing faculty research. Decision makers in the education field (Presidents, Provosts, Academic Vice President, Headmasters, etc.) often face a decision about how and when to update a library that has outlived its original space plan. Costs must be considered, and many building have historic significance. It is equally important to involve library staff in the process. Our clients know how important it is to build consensus when improving information literacy programs, student success and library service initiatives.

    ACA’s recent University work has had great outcomes. Here are two examples:

    Integrating Academic Resources into LeMoyne College

    LeMoyne College transformed its library through a phased planning process. First, we worked on the development of a Library Master Plan that included a New Quantitative Reasoning Center/ Writing and Tutoring Center. Then, we reconfigured the lower level of the library to make it a more welcoming and inviting space (see image below).

    Improving Service and Staffing at Norfolk State University 

    Norfolk State University needed an updated operations plan to improve customer service and staffing levels. Our analysis provided a foundation of service strategies to be used in conjunction with current staff capabilities.  It will enable the NSU library team to configure the best and most effective collaboration strategies.


  • 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

    Library Planning Workshop NYC Dec 13, 2019

    Join Us Friday, December 13, 2019 from 9:30am – 4pm – at Steelcase Worklife
    $295 per person – full day workshop, workbook and tour.

    One Day Workshop to Program Your Library, Develop New Digital Literacy Services, Create Learning Spaces & Long Term Facility Planning Efforts

    The development of library services and spade for higher education, health science, K-12, research and museum space is a challenging task. Our clients regularly ask us to share our knowledge about learning spaces, flexibility, and planning for the integration of technology and design.

    Our workshop attendees are normally people who have projects that are either in pre-planning or at the implementation stage.

    During the session, participants will learn our library planning metrics. They will do exercises and learn from case studies developed over our 48 year history including academic, public, government, medical, law and special libraries. Workshops include examples of: library program measurements, project management, service point design, data analytics, logistics and budget / capital management

    During this workshop:

      We encourage clients to network and provide feedback learn about their needs.

      We will share the five modes of learning and tour the NYC Worklife to show how furniture support each mode (social, collaborative, reflective, presentation, touch-point).

      We will share programmatic considerations for implementing a shared research space on campus or in an education and healthsciences community

      We will help connect programming goals to support design choices

      We will share examples of library+education+healthscience+research space designs

    Our expert presenters bring experience from multiple projects to the table. Their firsthand knowledge will help answer your library planning and research space questions to move your project forward.
    CLICK HERE TO JOIN US

    LIBRARY CONSULTANT WORKSHOP

    REGISTER FOR THE WORKSHOP – PRICE $295 PER PERSON

  • Library Planning Research,  Space Planning

    Appreciative Inquiry and Library Planning

    Appreciative Inquiry has been described as an affirmative approach to change management. It is a cooperative search for the best parts of the library building, service and organization. It involves a systematic discovery of what gives a library or library system life.

    Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD applies this concept on both small- and large-scale library projects. We follow the following steps to determine the existing conditions of a library and its future needs:

    1. Discover: We provide workshops on library planning, engaging stakeholders in a series of workshops. We study the potential for positive change and seek to understand the culture and character of the library. Our questions help reveal the present state and the future potential.
    2. Dream: Our plans start as a bubble diagram suggesting proximity and relative sizes of areas. What gives life to this area? What functions need to be adjacent? How much space should be allowed for different services?
    3. Design: Library plans will show the footprint: the area that the library occupies on the site. Some architects will show book stacks, tables, chairs and staff work equipment at this stage. We call these program tests.
    4. Deliver: A Library Service Planis a vital planning tool. Ideally, each piece of furniture and equipment is drawn on the plan in an early phase, since shapes of functional areas are often set at this stage. Capacities for books and seating in each functional area is calculated and approved by the library director, staff, administration, etc.

    Here are some sample questions to ask when reviewing a plan:

    • When users enter the library, can they understand the layout?
    • What are the strengths of the space?
    • Are books visible and arranged in a clear and simple order?
    • What are the existing conditions? What works?
    • Are functions arranged so that you walk through the noisy area to the quiet area?
    • What is the best part of the library?

    CONTACT US

    library consultant planning process

  • 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,  Space Planning

    Use of Color in Library Planning

    Color can be a way to define and complement the learning spaces in a library. We can consider the combination of colors and tone of the space, allowing us to overlay our learning modes (social, collaborative, presentation, touch point, reflective) and improve the learning environment.

    According to Aaron Cohen Associates, ltd, there are four basic color schemes: colorless, monochromatic, related, and contrasting.

    • In the colorless scheme, only black and white are used. In this scheme, only the natural colors of the building elements are use.
    • In the monochromatic scheme, only one color is used – alone or alongside black and white.
    • In the related color scheme we use the colorwheel to define the space. For example, we might suggest earth tones – rust, orange, brown and yellow.
    • In the contrasting color scheme, the designer positions opposite colors in different zones. If the colors are too vibrant, a little bit of white or a neutral color can be used as a bridge to create a contrasting effect.
    • Considering a library redesign? Consult with experienced library programmers and designers. CONTACT AARON COHEN LIBRARY CONSULTANT

    Libraries can be difficult to design. Start to understand the color scheme for your library space. Is it cold? are there hard surfaces? do the colors enhance the behavior in the space?

    library design

  • Library Planning Research

    Future Planning and the Psychology of Change

    The psychology of change is an important aspect of library planning.  Dr. Lawrence L. Lippitt notes that  Preferred Futuring  has “the power to change whole systems; envision the future you want and unleash the energy to get there.” This can be useful for teams, organizations and communities within a library project.

    Preferred Futuring helps teams, organiziations, or communities construct a future they want and mobilize the energy to reach it. Anyone who is facing change of any kind should be aware of, and be prepared to deal with, the following effects:

    Change is not always the group consensus. Some changes are beneficial; other are not. Change is especially difficult when you don’t have a future vision. In preferred futuring, groups establish a common understanding of who they are and what success looks like. Our library planning methodology establishes the goals and vision for the project, based on stakeholder input and the strengths of the institution.

    Change may bring uncertainty. As we gather data, we combine the future needs and the existing conditions. Stakeholders are solicited to participate and provide feedback. We never know the outcome of a plan until the data gathering is complete.

    Change causes stimulation. The construction of a new library service or space can bring turmoil; and if the process is not handled well, it can often stall. We harness knowledge and resources directed toward results. Typical outcomes include increased utilization of the library, sustainable future/staff service models, and improve library space and services.

    Change may increase staff work. If not done carefully, it can bring about some unintended results. For example, a library director may envision greater productivity from the staff, but they end up dealing with the unintended consequences of an ineffective library program/service plan. Change Can also increase morale and cooperation! Not all change means there is something to worry about. We have had many successful projects by supporting strong leadership who understood the power of planning.

    library consultant methods