Thursday, April 15, 2010

CIL2010 Postconference: Digital Library Learning Spaces

Alex Cohen, Library Planner, Aaron Cohen Associates
A multigenerational family business for library space planning. Now focusing on transition from print-based space to Learning Commons.

Way to create cultural significance in the physical environment of the library, using endcaps and other space considerations in re equipment and whatnot. In relation to what the library does/collects/serves.

National Library of Greece

Social Fabric - Multifunction space

Cafes don't matter as much as the social gathering space.

Library is a "Place" AND a "Set of Services"

Appreciative Inquiry - turn negatives into positives. What might be. Envisioning impact. what are the best parts of the library. Metaphor - develop a story.
Design - what should be; collaborative work

Basic Assumption that an organization is a problem to be solved, rather than a mystery to be embraced.

- Seating
- Staff - the easy part, most architects can do in their sleep
- Collections

Needs Assessment, including a visual scan storyboarding of existing space; basic and expanded library services.

Core collections and deposit collections

RFID Reference Collection - know where a certain book is at any time, even if the students squirrel them away. Prototype for heavy-use ones.

1 Seat = 300 volumes space-wise

Often space planning can trigger a larger change in the institution. Should be proactive and not just reactive.

150# per cubic foot, even if you're not using top and bottom shelves. You will.

Do a linear foot count of collection, and allow 1 sq ft per linear foot (to allow for aisle, etc) = Net Assignable Square Footage. Xx 1.3 to equal gross square footage.

User seats=50%

Flexibility is crucial

Where is the med school gonna be in 2030?

Stanford uses these mobile smartboard carts that can go to whatever room.

The Living Edge - breathing space, personal space, a view PLUS electrical, network, etc.

~ 20 people per space, creates a more intimate environment, where people will self-police. More than that, and it's a horde.

Media wall - a lovely photo of a rat's brain at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology see examples

Quantitative side vs Qualitative side

No desk?!! Stanford has none in their undergrad space, staff walk around w/ tablets and phones. Students were texting the librarians at the desk anyhow!

Bubble diagram w/ service elements
Self Check-in
Self Check-out
Copier room
Media commons
Collaborative Seating
Reference/Learning Commons
Collaborative Learning Area
Media Commons
24 hr seating
Scholars workstations (reserved carrels)

Use corners for collaborative learning spaces

NATURAL Lighting wherever possible

Stanford - books on the wall are for show, really - in the main reading room, some of the least-used books. Not for browsing as much as an aesthetic environment.

If you must have a service point/node - make it flexible, moveable, adaptable.

Look at the Apple Store Genius Bar - it's really a reference desk!

Most new Academic Libraries are now including a Faculty Resource Center - particularly for older faculty members who need special help with ppt, blackboard, teaching/training in small group or individual. And they can save face.

He learned a lot in Las Vegas - on comfort zones, focal points, perspective and blur, destinations.

Have handout on paper :(

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