knowledge management
Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues,  Space Planning

Library Star System: Planning & Resource Management

Resource Management

You can successfully knit together multiple collections and services into a coherent library. Knitting together multiple collections and reference points into a resilient library requires careful planning and execution.  It is a constellation of library touch points, services and behaviors.  In this blog post, we will highlight our thinking from recent library planning projects.

Reference Star

Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD develops reference touch point and circulation systems.   We work on service planning concepts or frameworks for designing a public service desk.  Our concept revolves around a central “reference star” design.   The star represents the core of the public service desk, which is the primary point of contact for users seeking information or assistance. The orbiting touch points represent the physical and virtual resources that support the central circulation desk.

Circulation Star

The circulation star system recognizes that there are different types of public service touch points, including resources such as staff, books and interactive tools.  It is a space to connect with virtual resources such as locations, wayfinding, OPAC, search engines, and chat services. These touch points are bound together by gravitational attraction, with a small number of them opening up around the reference star.

Communities of practice

Communities of practice can play a role in this system by helping to shape and inform the development of the public service touch points.  When you study the area around the service point, you can interview the community and get help.  As a result, you can learn what should surround the reference & circulation star.  There are self service options and service areas to directly support the users.

safe library plans

One Stop-Shop

The reference star system can streamline the public desk experience by consolidating existing reference and circulation desks into a single, more centralized public service point. This can help to reduce redundancy and confusion, while basically providing users with a more cohesive and efficient user experience.

Most importantly, the reference star system concept offers a useful framework for designing a more effective and user-friendly constellation of services. Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD (library consultant) supports libraries by programming both physical and virtual resource tools. We can work with your library and analyze how to integrate a reference star system.  We can help develop public services with touch points that will give you a more dynamic and engaging library experience for your users.  If you need to increase space for your users, we can analyze how to capture sq. ft. space during the process.

Star Collections/Resources

The reference star system includes collections and resources.  Here are some preliminary steps you can take to analyze the experience:

Identify the Reference Star Resources: Start by identifying all the resources in the library, museum or public research hub. This will include physical and digital resources, as well as guides to collections that are housed in different locations. Consider the needs of your users, and try to create a touch point with collections that meets their needs.

Analyze the classification layout: Once you have identified the reference star resources, you need to analyze the classification layout. It is a system that can bring resources all together. This could involve developing a unique layout for the reference star and the call number system(s).  Here we help libraries organize the resources by subject area or interactive type.

Consider physical space elements: You need to consider the physical space available for the library and how the public services space fit into it. Sometimes we get involved in creating custom shelving or storage solutions for operations, and we have experience integrating digital displays to showcase archival resource materials.

Develop a digital presence: A digital touch point with a content management system can help users navigate the library.  You can showcase collections and provide tools i.e. searchable databases of all the resources in the library.

Workshops with staff and users: It is important to get feedback from both staff and users on how to use the library.  We like to have discussions with users to understand how to improve collections navigation. We develop training materials, host workshops, and we providing one-on-one support to our clients. Contact Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD (library consultant)

Evaluate with Design Thinking Methods: Basically, we need to evaluate the effectiveness of the library by testing its functions.  We need to refine your approach and improve the seating, collections and staff spaces. This involves collecting feedback from users, tracking usage statistics, and making adjustments to the service points, collections or classification system layout.

Library Environment

Configuring operations spaces in the library environment can create a lot of stress.  The library staff need support; they need to be heard.  As a result, we deliver for libraries.  We help to create an engaging and interactive organizational plan.  Our library programs help staff discover and learn what makes them successful. Here are some strategies for programming library and public spaces, promoting the discovery of collections, and fostering community practice:

Create a flexible space: In order to facilitate hybrid furnishing designs, we help outline flexible space options  We analyze what can be rearranged to suit different activities and events. The  includes movable furniture, open floor plans, and multi-purpose rooms.

Promote discovery: We can help the team to program and design the discovery of collections, with clear signage, attractive displays, and easy-to-use discovery tools. This can include digital displays, interactive kiosks, and mobile apps.

Foster a community practice: To encourage library development, we help create opportunities improve interactions around collections. This includes hosting library planning workshops that bring people together around shared interests.

Integrate technology: The library should integrate technology to support hybrid assemblies, such as providing access to meeting rooms, online resource collaboration spaces, streaming media, or virtual reality experiences. This can help users connect with collections in new and innovative ways.

Support social interactions: The library can increase the number of spaces and activities that support social interactions. We help develop collaborative workspaces, gaming areas, and cafes. We help create a welcoming and inclusive environment that encourages users to engage with each other and with the collections.

Library Management Consulting

Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD (library consultant) can help you design the next generation library environment. For instance, our plans help libraries improve spaces for discovery, fostering community practice, integrating technology, and supporting social interactions.  Provide a library where users can learn through social interactions and engage with collections in meaningful ways. The library can become a dynamic and inclusive space that supports the learning experience.