• Library Planning Research

    Creative Problem Solving for the Library

    Library Consultants help with creative problem solving. The library master plan should be considered during annual planning. It is important to consider the use of library spaces, and the user perceptions or desirability of the library collections. In the context of library architecture, we help leadership create a diverse, flexible, and user-controlled spaces to facilitate the creative thought process. The theory of constraints process can be applied to a library setting.

    Creative Approach

    Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD works with libraries and organizations by engaging in creative problem solving. We help libraries identify and address the factors that may be constraining its growth and ability to achieve its goals. Successful library planning requires a focused, systematic approach to identifying and removing library operations that constrain growth.

    Library Problem Solving

    As part of ARL’s Research Library Impact Framework initiative, they defined three areas of focus to improve the libraries impact.

    1. Students’ use of library spaces contributing to knowledge and practical applications for renovations. When we observe how students utilize library spaces, our team of librarians and designers gain valuable insights into what works well and what can be improved. We look at students’ behaviors, preferences, and needs can inform the decision-making process when renovating or redesigning library spaces. We re-align with the actual usage patterns and requirements of the library’s users.

    2. Student perceptions of space desirability and gaps in facilitating creativity. We have been studying how to measure student perceptions of space desirability for years. Our experiences assessing how students perceive different aspects of library spaces, such as comfort, aesthetics, functionality, and ambiance enables our clients to build a better library. Certainly, libraries can identify any gaps or shortcomings in the current design that may hinder or limit creativity. Our library consultant reports guide the renovation process. We help to address the gaps in services and create spaces that better facilitate creative thinking and problem-solving.

    3. Creative thought process and the need for diverse, flexible, and student-controlled spaces. The creative thought process often thrives in environments that offer a variety of spaces catering to different learning styles and activities. We know that a library can foster creativity by providing diverse spaces, such as collaborative seating, quiet study carrels, or innovative studio rooms. During our workshops we will focus on library designs: flexibility, adaptability and customization based on the users changing needs. If you want more control over the space, such as rearranging furniture or personalizing their study areas, we can provide a series of scenarios, programs and plans.

    Thinking about how to integrate AI into the library service plan? Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD can enhance the library, further promoting creative thinking and exploration.

    Theory of Constraints

    Library Consultants help with creative problem solving. By considering these statements and incorporating them into library space planning and renovation projects, libraries can create environments that better meet the needs of students, encourage creativity, and enhance the overall learning experience.

    The theory of constraints process has five steps.

    1. Articulate the library’s growth goals. Clearly define the desired outcomes and objectives for the library. Assess whether the library has the necessary resources, facilities, technology, and staff to accomplish these goals.

    2. Define the critical assumptions underpinning the library collections, building and technology. Conduct a comprehensive needs assessment to understand the requirements and expectations of the library’s users, enabling the provision of optimal services.

    3. Identify the library service constraints – the barriers to achieving the library’s growth and goals. Identify the barriers and limitations that prevent the library from achieving its growth goals. These constraints could include physical limitations (e.g., insufficient space), staffing issues, or inadequate programs and services.

    4. Develop a way to remediate the most significant constraint. Analyze how other libraries have addressed similar challenges, such as improving processing efficiency, reference services, or information literacy initiatives. Consider benchmarking reports and draw from the experiences of other libraries’ users to gain insights and ideas.

    5. Once the first constraint is tackled and no longer a barrier select the next one and remediate. Once the most significant constraint has been remediated, move on to the next one. It’s essential to prioritize and tackle constraints systematically. For example, focus on enhancing the experience for repeat library users (power users) while also understanding the reasons behind lower usage levels. Evaluate aspects such as library spaces, collections, events, and librarian services that may influence user engagement.

    Archive Planning

    Develop a library or archive plan, identify and overcome the constraints that impede its growth. Aaron Cohen knows that library archive and collections planning will improve the organizations ability to meet the needs of its users and achieve its goals.

  • Library Planning Research,  work in progress

    library is a laboratory of the future

    Is the library is a laboratory of the future? From our perspective, we need to understand the transformative shift that is happening. We are planning libraries not as passive spaces, but as a dynamic environment with many functions. The library is a place that actively supports communities of practice. Instead of traditional fixed function spaces, libraries are designed to be flexible performance spaces that cater to the evolving needs of their users.

    Library Environment

    For many years, we have researched library environments. One of the key features of the future library laboratory is the inclusion of a cafe or social area. This space serves as a meeting point where people can gather, interact, and engage in group discussions. The library laboratory space provides a relaxed and inviting atmosphere that encourages socialization and collaboration. It encourages knowledge building, research and access. We need to foster a sense of community within the library.

    Library Technology Planning

    AI technology plays a crucial role in staying on the cutting edge and boosting performance within the library laboratory. Advanced AI systems integrated with knowledge management planning can assist with various service strategies, such as improved research and retrieval, data analysis, and personalized recommendations for library users. We see AI as another tool in the search for knowledge. The library design can provide more efficient and tailored services if we incorporate knowledge management into the equation. Contact Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD – Library Consultant

    Librarian AI Survey

    According to the library journal “Academic Librarian Survey Offers Perspectives on AI,” survey respondents thought AI technology has a natural role in a research space. When asked an open-ended question about what excites them most about the potential uses of AI products in higher education, librarians’ noticed that it can energize the research process. One person wrote that “a chat AI that can take many or most reference questions is really interesting, or at least [one that could] suggest keywords effectively. An AI that summarizes complicated content in search results and then links to items in our catalog is already really appealing and would get more students to engage with academic research.”

    Embedded Library Technology

    Academic libraries thrive when they are embedded within a broader network of scholarly resources, faculty collaborations, and student interactions. Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD programming and planning studies support changes in the scholarly environment. For example, how will libraries leverage AI technologies? We know that libraries can contribute to the creation of a rich and interconnected information ecosystem. Engaging with a library consultant ensures that the library remains a valuable resource hub, preventing the emergence of information deserts and promoting the continuous growth of knowledge and research within the academic community.

    AI Technology

    Using AI technologies with knowledge management can improve the library collection. Here are some suggestions:

    AI-platforms and library technical services tools can help aggregate and curate vast amounts of information from different sources, making it easier for researchers to build. Developing ontologies for academic institutions will increase access to collections. It will help the library share valuable resources such as research papers, articles, and datasets.

    AI can support collaborative efforts by providing virtual spaces for academic communities to interact, share ideas, and collaborate on projects. This can include features like online forums, video conferencing, and collaborative document editing tools. Humans can collaborate and share research gains.

    AI can analyze researchers needs, preferences, research interests, and browsing patterns to provide personalized recommendations for academic resources, such as relevant research papers, books, or courses. This can help individuals discover new resources in the library. It can help expand their knowledge within their specific fields of interest.

    The library laboratory can facilitate interdisciplinary research collaborations and support evidence-based decision-making.

    library space design
    library consultant example

    Laboratory of the Future

    The new view of library laboratory of the future. It extends beyond traditional notions of architecture and space planning. The library is seen as a laboratory. It is a place for exploration, experimentation, and innovation. It becomes a dynamic environment where researchers can actively engage with knowledge and resources, encouraging creativity and critical thinking.

    Library Architecture

    We are seeing a shift in architectural perspectives. This sets the stage for the future of library design, ensuring they remain relevant and adaptive in a rapidly changing information landscape. Certainly, the library is a laboratory of the future if it embraces flexibility, community, and technology. We help libraries incorporate functional elements. These elements include service desks, learning commons, computer areas, etc. As libraries continue to evolve and serve as vibrant hubs for learning, we help libraries collaborate, and discover how their buildings can impact their community in the years to come.

    library space planner


  • Library Planning Research,  Space Planning

    Library Space Planning

    What is library space planning? The layout of a library is an important factor in creating a functional and efficient space that meets the needs of its patrons. Our team develops programs that analyze the relationships. This includes user activities and the organization of the library’s collections. Certainly, the library can help to promote productivity, collaboration, technology access, browsing and learning.

    Library Programming

    Creating an inventory of all activities and allocating a time and place for each function is an important step in organizing the layout and space of an academic library.

    What are the activities that take place within the library? For example, types of individual work spaces (studying, research, group work, and leisure reading). New library functions including computers, technology, events, and workshops.

    What user metrics do you use? What is needed for each library activity? Over the years, we have recorded library activities and the requirements for services. We help the library allocate enough space to accommodate each type of user activity.

    During library space planning, we program and plan the location for each user activity. For example, this helps us determine if there is enough space quiet study. It helps us define the library staffs needs. Does your library have enough space?

    We consider the physical layout of the library and how it can be used. Most importantly, we help enhance the functionality of the library space. For example, areas designated for group work can be designed to promote collaboration and interaction, while quiet study areas can be designed to reduce noise and distractions. Do you have enough meeting space in your library?

    Futurist Example

    When we begin a library space planning workshop, we share examples of innovation around the world. For example, the Yangzhou bookstore and library is a stunning example of how architecture and design can enhance the experience of reading and learning. They created a bookstore and space that is both functional and beautiful, the organization encourages visitors to engage with its collection and immerse themselves in the world of books.

    The photo by Shao Feng Hsu below is a professional example of architectural photography. To see more of their work go to: https://www.shaofenghsu.com/


    We were very impressed with the curved bookshelves that line the walls and ceiling. The library design creates a sense of movement and flow. For example, it was designed to draw visitors deeper into the space and encouraging them to explore the vast collection of books.

    Atlas Obscura

    According to Atlas Obscura “The tunnel leads to a children’s reading room. Here, a series of LED lights turns the ceiling into night sky freckled with stars that twinkle above bright, whimsical shelves.” Certainly, the arrangement should be studied. It creates a sense of order and organization. The books grouped by subject and arranged in alphabetical order.

    The use of light is important element of the library’s design. The shelves are illuminated by light that creates a cozy atmosphere. The use of light helps to accentuate the curved lines of the shelves and walls, adding to the sense of movement and depth.

    Library Consultant

    It is important to regularly evaluate and update the inventory of activities in the library. When we complete our study the library can allocate spaces to ensure that the library is meeting the needs of its patrons and making the most efficient use of its space.

    Next Generation Library

    Contact Aaron Cohen Associates, ltd – Library Consultant and Planners.

  • Image by Hasan Toxr
    Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues,  work in progress

    Library Consultant AI Tools

    What does an AI Library and the House of Wisdom have in common? If you look at the traditional library, every village or every town have their own collection. If you start mapping a library, especially a learning space, the deepest study happens in the individual carrels. This is an act of learning that has worked for ages.

    Library collection tools are everywhere. The library provides the setting and environment. In places where it is not busy, for example, in the quiet spaces in the stacks, what’s interesting is the process of learning. It’s only going to happen when there are spaces that are conducive to independent study. There’s a romance to this event in a persons life. Unlike the busy work environment in most parts of the world, the house of wisdom is a space for rebirth and revival. New Library Project? Contact Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD AI Library Consultant to develop your library technology plan.

    Visual Literacy

    Visual literacy is crucial for individuals to be able to interpret and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image. With the rise of chatbots and other artificial intelligence tools, we are seeing a significant shift in how education and our everyday lives are being impacted. These tools are helping us predict what’s ahead and integrating visual information in various formats such as charts, graphs, photographs, videos, and maps with other information and print and digital text.

    AI Library

    Because technology helps us to go deeper and deeper, today, we need to recognize that AI can be used as a learning tool. If you make AI infrastructure visible and usable in multiple ways, it will almost always make an impact. As I mentioned, library programming can strengthen a library collection with a plan to integrate services, social capital and communities of practice.

    New Library Project? Contact Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD library consultant – AI research

    Library Funding

    When you are learning, you’re getting material for the brain. We are actually building connections, something that happens naturally. Traditionally, what happens in the library is that there are services to support research, study and collaboration. Alone – Alone and Together – Alone – Together – Together Services.

    More important than just working with AI, the library needs to get funding for AI uses. The library creates scholars, in fact, the best campus libraries offer services to support faculty development. With AI we can all be scholars. Libraries are places where learning occurs, using tools that are legally available.

    House of Wisdom

    A very interesting project was the House of Wisdom in Sharjah, an international achievement in design and library planning. Its focus was on adventure and learning, creating space for the people to build a community of learners. It is also an extension of the Sharjah Book Fair. The whole idea was to create a house of wisdom. It was also about building different kinds of wisdom. For example, the meeting rooms provide all the controls to enhance the collaborative environment. The reading areas evoke special spaces for kids to experience learning.

    Gerard Evenden, head of studio at Foster + Partners, designed and developed the new library. One of the world’s earliest scholarly institutions informed the design process of House of Wisdom. McLaren Construction. They are Innovative Builders and Design Experts.

    New Library Project? Contact Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD library consultants

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

    Library Design Strategies: 2030

    I still believe that we can learn from Covid. But figuring out new design strategies that will incorporate AI will take time – perhaps longer than we expect. That’s because reimagining the library environment is complicated. As we start our planning work, organizations are finding themselves in an uncomfortably liminal state, unmoored from past ways of working but lacking a sense of how best to move forward. Certainly, we can learn how to plan and design a better environment. Basically, reimagining the library building environment is a complex task that will require careful consideration, time, expertise and planning. What about the effect of AI? ChatGPT, Jasper, Writesonic text editors?

    Children Strategy

    One important strategy to consider when it comes to libraries and children is creating spaces that are welcoming and engaging for young learners. This may involve incorporating features such as age-appropriate books and materials, interactive displays, and comfortable seating areas that are designed with children’s needs in mind.

    Another key consideration is the role that technology can play in supporting children’s learning and engagement. For example, libraries can design an environment to enhance educational software and digital resources. These are spaces that can help children develop new skills and explore new topics in a fun and interactive way.

    In addition to physical space and technology, libraries can play an important role in providing access to information and resources that children may not have afterschool. This may involve creating a library facility plan to outline the strategies. We will kick start the process, partnering with community organizations or other institutions to enhance the library’s learning spaces.

    2030 Space Planning

    As I’ve thought about future and the strategies we can use. I’ve found myself returning to a blog post by pressreader entitled “The library of 2030: what to expect from changes to physical design” – the commentary predicts that we need:

    Space for conversation
    Space for concentration
    Technology and tools front and center
    Smarter storage features
    Furniture and features for modern work
    Sustainable architecture

    Library Space

    Planning space for concentration and conversation is how Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD improves Public Libraries. They have always been a place where people can come to study, read, and work in quiet. However, they can also be spaces for collaboration and conversation. To achieve a balance between these two functions, your library could consider creating designated areas for quiet study as well as more open spaces for group work and discussion. We can help program and plan these requirement specifications.

    Library Tech

    Outlining technology and tools to make them front and center in the design is how Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD improves Research Libraries. Libraries have long been a source of information, but in today’s digital age, they must also be equipped with the latest technology to support learning and research. Libraries could consider investing in tools such as virtual reality, 3D printing, and other emerging technologies to provide their users with new and exciting ways to engage with information. Our team will help you uncover your technology needs.

    Shelving and Space

    Developing smarter storage through research specifications is how Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD improves Academic Libraries. With the rise of digital materials, libraries are facing a new challenge: how to store and access these materials in an efficient and user-friendly way. Our storage research / programs, such as automated retrieval systems, helped our clients make the most of their physical space while providing users with quick and easy access to the materials they need.

    Furniture Features

    Programming furniture and features for modern work environments is how Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD improves School Libraries. As work styles continue to evolve, charter schools and private school libraries must adapt to meet the changing needs of their users. Our programming research involves programming ergonomic furniture, standing desks, and other features that support modern work practices.

    Library Architecture

    Our team partners with the best architects in the world. These professionals provide sustainable architecture solutions. Indeed, with concerns about climate change and the environment on the rise, our past library program partners incorporated sustainable features into their buildings, such as green roofs, solar panels, and rainwater harvesting systems. These features not only help to reduce the library’s carbon footprint but also provided additional benefits to users, such as improved air quality and natural light.

    Socal Media

    While creating an “Instagrammable” library space may not be the primary goal of renewal project, it is true that visually appealing spaces can help to attract new users. The spaces can generate interest in the library’s resources and services. Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD adapts to the future needs of the library and its function in society.

    To create a more engaging library environment, it can be helpful to conduct a user needs assessment to better understand the needs and preferences of the library’s users. This may involve conducting surveys, holding community workshops, or engaging with users directly to gather feedback on the library’s existing spaces and services. Contact Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD – library consultant for more info on how to start your planning.

    Library Consultant

    We can help library staff and stakeholders work together to develop a plan. The result will be a more engaging and functional library space. This involves updating the library’s technology and equipment as well as reconfiguring existing spaces to better meet user needs. For example, the process will help incorporate new design elements that make the study space more visually appealing.

    Ultimately, the goal of your library should be to create a place that is functional and visually appealing. It is a place that looks forward, meeting the needs and preferences of the library’s users. By focusing on the needs and interests of the library’s users, your library can continue to be an important resource for communities and play a vital role in shaping the future of education and knowledge-sharing.

    Contact Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD – library consultant for more info on how to start your next planning workshop.

  • Library Planning Research,  Space Planning

    Library Planning Insights

    To effectively leverage data analytics, libraries need to define clear goals and objectives for their data-driven initiatives. The leadership needs to ensure that they align with the library’s broader mission, insights and values. We help jump start library planning. Certainly, our library workshops jump start planning by helping the library engage with the users to develop a better future. We help libraries understand their needs and preferences. We use data to create ways that benefit them. By taking a user-centric approach to data analytics and involving users in the planning and development process, libraries can create data-driven initiatives that are aligned with their mission, values, and goals, and that deliver real value to their patrons.

    Planning Insights

    All libraries want to give their community patrons more and engaging experiences. As a long time member of ACRL, we have provided all types of library consulting services and continue to provide library planning insights. Take a look at ACRL’s library consulting page and/or contact us to get started. That’s one of the most effective ways to create and sustain a library.

    Library Planning

    The challenge is to offer those experiences at scale without depersonalizing or commodifying them. The key is to strike a balance between scalability and personalization. Libraries must find ways to reach a large audience while still providing meaningful and engaging experiences that feel personalized and authentic. This may require experimentation and a willingness to try new approaches until the right balance is achieved.

    Scalable Libraries

    One potential solution to this challenge is to focus on creating experiences that are both scalable and customizable. For example, our library planning insights and research has show that offering more meeting space is an excellent way to provide a valuable service to the community while also increasing engagement with the library. Basically, allowing community members to choose how they want to use the library or participate in its activities gives them a sense of ownership and investment in the library’s offerings.

    Jump Start Planning

    By investing library planning, administrators (healthcare, law, government, academic, research centers, schools, public libraries, etc.) can create a welcoming and comfortable place. We develop library programs and designs that encourages patrons to spend time and engage with the library’s offerings. Designing and programing spaces for activities such as book clubs, crafting groups, or maker spaces for students can foster a sense of community and create opportunities for learning and creativity. Learn more about building a Co-Design Strategy.

    Collections Programming

    Sometimes libraries need to invest in collections programming. They need to understand how spaces can be tailored to the interests and needs of their community. By offering analytics research related to the library collection, we help these vital places create a more personalized experience for their users and build stronger relationships with them.

    Services at Scale

    We work with libraries to help them uncover their strengths and create user experiences at scale. For example, we use data analytics to gain insights into users’ preferences and interests. Indeed, we work with the foundations and educators using our own program / planning methods to uncover the library’s potential. Our 50 years of research helps the libraries curate content and experiences that are tailored to their users. An analyses library user needs and services from a variety of vantage points can be effective. We understand the noise created by data analytics and work to define the future with a solid focus on results.

    Contact Aaron Cohen Associates, ltd – Library Consultant

  • Library Planning Research,  Space Planning

    Support for Innovative Leadership

    Investing in service planning is crucial for libraries to provide innovative leadership and effective service delivery to their communities. Libraries that understand their facilities and resources can communicate with stakeholders and make informed decisions to improve services.

    The National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program’s Sparks! Ignition Grants Libraries web page is a great resource for researchers. Here libraries can explore new models, tools, research findings and services.

    Public Library Innovation

    In 2016, the winner was Gwinnet County Public Library Community Gardens. They have the tower gardens including six healing herbal secrets. Certainly, library planning support for innovative projects and initiatives can benefit the community.

    By utilizing resources like the Sparks! and investing in service planning such as:

    Community development
    Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives
    Population-specific programs and services
    Learning Space
    Architectural Planning
    Workforce development
    Civic technology
    Data privacy and security
    Digital inclusion
    Open educational resources

    Approach to Planning

    Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD approach to library planning, which focuses on measurements and user needs, is a data-driven and user-centered approach that can be highly effective. By using analytics to understand quantitative service levels such as circulation, collection use, building usage, and technology usage, you can gain valuable insights into how the library is being used and where improvements or changes may be needed.

    We are knowledgeable about different types of library facilities – learning commons, community center, national monument, and professional research facility – Contact Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD. We help leadership make informed decisions about the allocation of space, equipment, and resources to best meet the needs of their patrons. Our library consultants can identify areas for improvement or renovation, and make recommendations for changes to better serve their community. Take a look at our blog post on mobility and libraries.

    Build Community

    By sharing information about the library’s facilities, resources, and services, and by actively seeking feedback and input from the community, Innovative Leadership can build trust and engagement, leading to a more productive and effective library for all. Transferring knowledge between our library professionals and your community is a valuable way to spread information, raise funding and build understanding.

    Gaps are Normal

    There may be gaps between leadership and the community, but these can be bridged through effective communication and collaboration workshops. Our library professionals can work to build relationships with community members and involve them in decision-making processes, such as through community focus groups or public forums.

    What we Do..

    Our library consultant focuses on measurements and user needs. It is a valuable approach to planning libraries, and can help ensure that your library is meeting the needs of your community and providing effective and efficient services.

    Invest in the Future

    Investing in future strategies is an important factor in the success of libraries and their collections. Library service planning helps libraries identify their goals and priorities, allocate resources effectively, and adapt to changing community needs and technological advancements. A lack of strategic planning can lead to stagnation and missed opportunities for growth and improvement.

    Building Feedback Loop

    It is important to take into account qualitative feedback from library users, such as surveys or focus groups, to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and preferences. By combining quantitative data with qualitative feedback, your library can develop a comprehensive understanding of user needs and preferences, and use this information to inform strategic planning and decision-making. This may include the need for better meeting rooms. It may include a new layout for the library with private spaces for people to work. Contact Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD Library Service and Architecture Planning Consultants.

  • Library Planning Research,  Space Planning,  work in progress

    Collaboration and Collective Thinking Strategies

    Collaboration and the power of collective thinking can be a powerful tool for improving libraries. By bringing together diverse perspectives and expertise, libraries can identify new and innovative approaches to delivering services and resources to their communities. Education consultants can play an important role in analyzing and improving academic communities, including libraries. By drawing on Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD expertise in education and organizational development, we can help your library identify areas for improvement. Certainly, collaboration and collective thinking helps develop strategies for implementing positive change.

    Design Thinking

    Design thinking is a planning methodology that involves listening, iteration, and collective thinking to develop innovative solutions that meet user needs. For example, academic leadership can gain an understanding of the needs and preferences of their students and faculty by working with us. We can help the library by developing a plan that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

    Educational Consultants

    Education consultants can play an important role in library design projects. Basically, education consultants can provide valuable insights into the needs and preferences of library users. As a result, we have developed best practices for creating learning environments that support the educational goals of the library. We employ collaboration and collective thinking strategies to support change.

    Education Workshops

    The development of a school library design with an education consultant is essential for creating a future proof library space. Importantly, it will meet the needs and preferences of your students. The use of curved shelving is an example of how collective thinking strategies can lead to innovative design solutions.

    Building Strategies

    We can show that collaborative and collective strategy making will improve the student experience in the library. Check out the library consultants list to learn more about all of the great experts in the field.

    Do you like the designs, check out BCI international.
    BCI collaboration designs

    Curved Shelving

    The use of curved shelving in library design is a good example of how education consultants can help to create innovative design solutions. Indeed, curved shelving can create a sense of flow and movement in the library space. This can be more visually appealing and engaging for library users. It can create spaces in between the shelves that can be used for collaboration, socialization, or other activities.

    Education Focus

    Incorporating curved shelving into a library design requires careful consideration. We need to analyze the space available, and the budget constraints of the project.

    Education and Collaboration

    Working with education consultants and/or our design professionals can help to ensure that the design solution is both functional and visually appealing.

    BCI collaboration designs

    Collaboration Strategies

    We have experience facilitating collaborative and collective strategy workshops. For example, libraries can offer space to other institutions and organizations to promote information literacy and support lifelong learning.

    Collective Thinking Strategies

    Indeed, working with an education consultant can be a valuable way to understand the needs and preferences of schools, universities, museums, and other cultural institutions. See Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD post how libraries create mobility to develop programs and services that meet those needs.

    Community leaders and architects play distinct roles in library design projects. Basically, community leaders focus on the improvement and management of community resources, while architects focus on the design of the physical space and layout of the library.

    Design Projects

    Education and Collaboration

    In many cases, we support educators on library design projects. We provide input on the functionality of library services and spaces, while architects provide input on the overall design requirements. By working together, we ensure that the library’s service functions and physical infrastructure work together seamlessly to provide a high-quality user experience for library patrons.

    Collaboration and Collective Thinking Strategies

    Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD consult on the library’s operations and the functional layout of the library. This includes the configuration of collections and services. It also includes the programming of any custom built objects or features. They work closely with library staff to ensure that the physical space is designed to meet the needs of the community, and that the library is accessible to all.

  • Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues

    Libraries Create Mobility

    Libraries play an essential role in promoting mobility by providing access to information and resources. Libraries create mobility by enabling people to use the library freely in their personal and professional lives. The library increase its offerings. There is a wealth of materials, including books, magazines, newspapers, digital media, and online resources that can help users learn about new places, languages, and cultures.

    Basically, libraries enable the organization provide a variety of programs and services that help people develop new skills and knowledge, including literacy and digital literacy. These skills can improve employment opportunities and skills building, leading to economic mobility. Libraries are not just physical structures or places where books are stored. They are institutions that have a significant impact on society and promote social change. They provide access to information and resources that help people learn, grow, and develop new skills. I’d like to offer a framework, which in turn, can lead to improved economic, social, and environmental outcomes.

    Community Hubs

    Libraries can serve as a market place. For example, Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD develops design concepts. Our latest is the InfoMarket. It is part of our library mobility strategies research. The InfoMarket concept brings people together and provides opportunities for social interaction, cultural exchange, and civic engagement. The InfoMarket offers a range of programs and services that support lifelong learning, literacy, and digital skills development, as well as resources that promote health and well-being.

    Certainly, libraries are more than just repositories of books and information. They are dynamic organizations that actively engage with their communities through programming. They work to promote social impact and positive change. As such, it is important to think about libraries not only as physical spaces but as vehicles for social progress and impact.

    Community Engagement

    Libraries can promote mobility by offering spaces and services that promote sustainability. In terms of social mobility strategies, libraries serve as community centers that bring people from different backgrounds and cultures together. We have studied small libraries, urban libraries and branch libraries. Indeed, library mobility strategies enable our team to assess the possibilities for any type of library. We can take a small library spaces and equip it to provide public events, meetings, and workshops that foster social connections, facilitate learning, and promote civic engagement.

    Note, libraries play a crucial role in promoting mobility by offering resources, services, and programs that empower individuals and communities to move forward in their personal and professional lives. If you are starting a self study library technology plan, you can use Webjunction’s Tech Atlas.

    Why a Library is Important..

    The magic of the library happens when people gather together in small groups and engage in various activities simultaneously. Libraries offer spaces for people to study, work, read, socialize, and participate in community events. These spaces provide opportunities for people to connect with each other, share ideas, and collaborate on projects.

    The presence of other small groups in the library creates a dynamic atmosphere where different kinds of human behaviors occur simultaneously. Some people may be studying quietly, while others may be engaged in lively discussions or group activities. This diversity of activity creates an energy that can inspire creativity, learning, and innovation.

    Promote Studying

    While it may seem chaotic or random to observe a group of people studying together, there is often a sense of purpose and focus that underlies their activities. People come to the library to learn, to explore new ideas, and to connect with others who share similar interests. In this sense, the library is a place where people can find community, inspiration, and support for their intellectual and personal growth.

    Basically, the library provides a unique social space where people can come together to engage in various activities and share their knowledge and experiences. The presence of small groups creates a dynamic environment where people can learn from each other and develop new skills and perspectives.

    In thinking about the subject of mobility and, in particular, the role of the library, let’s consider mobility in terms of its kinetic qualities of services and movement.

    community engagement workshop
  • Library Planning Research,  Space Planning,  work in progress

    Build a Co-Design Library Strategy

    When we started programming and planning libraries, there was a lot of excitement about library buildings.  Then you realize that this process is more than just a library building project.  Your library design strategy creates new opportunities for the collection, user seating and technology.  You’re developing service and operational plans in these libraries that you want to last.  The library design strategy is more than a building project.  It is a set of plans that will result in a series of library operations strategies.

    Co-Design Strategy

    When we were trying to develop a library design strategy for a new library community in New York, why did we make certain choices?  How did those choices help us develop our library design strategy? See Special Library Collections Return on Investment Discussion.

    At Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD we create co-design strategies where library communities can engage in the design process.  The students and young people can engage in our workshops.  The adults can offer their input, and function as part of the design team.  The library design process has many team members and each gives us a perspective that adds knowledge to the process.


    Sherry R. Arnstein, former Executive Director of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, “A Ladder of Citizen Participation,” Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 35, No. 4, July 1969, pp. 216-224.

    Engagement Ladder


    Our library design strategies will help the library update its operations and organization strategies.  We help libraries get as high up the ladder as we can.  Especially, library organizations that haven’t changed in years.   We have to respect their members and, rather than try to build out poor strategies, we develop a library plan that can scale over time.  We engage the user community and build strategies through co-design workshops.

    What would it be like if we invited our community leaders to a workshop?  What would your library be like if we embraced the unique history of the library building and the collections?  Our workshops recognize individual career contributions. We develop strategies to honor the libraries history, collections and knowledge?

    Library Design

    On the bottom of the Arnstein ladder, there’s non participation and fake participation.  Of course, library design strategies help organizations move toward citizen power.  We have found that citizen power requires constant updates and reminders.  People are busy.  Our library design strategy workshops help us uncover the possibilities through direct input.  Our community engagement meetings include library program models that will help them redefine their needs and the library environment in the long term. With 50 years of library planning research, we can engage your community and build a better future.