Library Planning Research

Considering Library Improvements? Let Patrons Be Your Guide

In spite of ever-advancing technology, libraries must still offer human contact and a fast and easy “customer experience.” People don’t want to search endlessly for what they want: the library space plan should steer you to what you want quickly. For example, there should be intuitive places to sit and read; to talk with friends; to research a topic. Library spaces can be challenging: is the quiet seating too close to the teen area, for example? Is the children’s space clearly delineated and safe?

Aaron Cohen Associates has studied patron behavior in libraries for many years. Today, there is still a need to focus on service, even in an increasingly digital world. We start with a needs assessment to help us understand a library’s culture and values. We then develop an existing program (what the library currently offers, and where) to help the stakeholders understand the issues. Next, we create a building program: a roadmap to the future. It will incorporate all the information we have learned through our studies and dialogue.

For over 45 years, we have developed building programs and needs assessments for libraries (public, academic, research), learning centers, and historic institutions. Our research helps define the interaction opportunities (displays, touchpoints, service desks, etc.), and we offer service options focusing on information literacy, staffing models and more. Our knowledge of automation—including library systems and storage/preservation requirements—can help support library and archival experiences.

Here are some ways we can help:
1. Facilitate Data Gathering
2. Program the Existing Library
3. Plan for Possible Futures
4. Design Test Fits/Conceptual Design
5. Digital Library Services & Integration

We also do workshops on library planning and knowledge management services. CONTACT US to find out how we can help you!


 library consultant