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LINKING LIBRARY SPACES TO USERS NEEDS AND PREFERENCESLinda C. Butson, Hannah F. Norton, Michele R. Tennant*, Cecilia Botero Health Science Center Libraries*and UF Genetics InstituteUniversity of Florida
BackgroundThe 36-year old Health Science Center Library is the only library on campus that has not undergone significant renovations.
BackgroundGiven support from our library dean, the opportunity arose to begin planning for renovation of our space.Any renovation requires substantial input from our users about their needs and preferences in order to remain a space that is well-used.
GoalsTo identify user needs and the characteristics of library spaces which they value.To assess the library space needs and preferences of our students, faculty, and staff in order to inform HSCL remodeling plans and improve library services.
MethodsAn IRB-approved study design consisting of 2 phases:Phase 1: Fall 2010Electronic survey distributed to all Health Science Center (HSC) students, faculty, and staff320 responses receivedPhase 2: Spring Fall 2011Focus groups of HSC students, faculty, and staff7 focus groups conducted with a total of 23 participants
Survey8-question survey created in SurveyMonkeyDistributed viaEmail listservsfor HSC colleges and departmentsProminent link on HSC Library homepageDemographic questions and 3 open-ended questions:What do you like about the HSC Librarys current space?What is missing in the HSC Librarys current space?What would you like to see in an ideal HSC Library space?
Survey Results: Demographics 9% 16% 11% 27% 25% 9% 3%Responses by College Dentistry (9%) Medicine (16%) Nursing (11%) Pharmacy (27%) Public Health and Health Professions (25%) Veterinary Medicine (9%) Other (3%) n = 308 18% 53% 8% 19% 2%Responses by Status Undergraduate Student (18%) Graduate Student (53%) Staff or Resident (8%) Faculty (19%) Other (2%)
Survey Results: Library Usage 25% 38% 16% 14% 7%How often do you use the HSC Librarys resources from outside of the library? Every day (25%) Every week (38%) Every month (16%) Less than once a month (14%) Never (7%) n = 303 14% 39% 17% 22% 8%How often do you come to HSC Library? Every day (14%) Every week (39%) Every month (17%) Less than once a month (23%) Never (8%) n = 302
Survey Results: Open-ended questions 0102030405060708090Miscellaneous Services & collections Quiet & sound insulation Space to relax Study & meeting rooms Furniture Ambience Lighting & windows Copiers & printers Computers & technology Group study space Individual study space Study space generalNumber of Responses What do you like about the HSC Library's current space? What is missing in the HSC Library's current space? What would you like to see in an ideal HSC Library space?Responseswere assigned to multiple categories where appropriate. n = 200
Our Response So FarCreated 7 new study rooms from storage and unused office space painted and equipped with whiteboards.Increased number of public computers.Purchased new tables and chairs.
What Weve Done So FarConsolidated our print journal collection to one floor (third floor), moved our monograph collection to the second floor, opened up the first floor for study space. Before
What Weve Done So FarDuringAfter
Focus GroupsRecruitment:All participation was voluntary.Notices were posted in the library and distributed on listservs.Library staff invited patrons at the library directly prior to focus groups.Three librarians facilitated the sessions.Participants included graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, library staff and student assistants, non-UF users.A standard list of questions was used to direct the conversation during each focus group session.
Focus Group Themes
Theme: Study spacesOur patrons appreciate the space for group study on our first floor, a space to talk.Quiet is highly valued in our library, and our patrons understand that the third floor is designated for quiet, individual study.Ideal learning environment has to be a mixture you have to have some loud spaces like the ground floor and you have to have quiet areas in the same location so you can move around like basically how it is here.
Theme: Computers & technologyOur computers are a highly valued resource.More computers for groups and individuals would be useful.We need to be sure there are enough power outlets throughout our space. we use this library for the big screens to look at the, the anatomy pictures or things like that
Theme: Ambience and comfortPatrons described our space as being: bright, comfortable, clean, modern.They also described it as: not appealing on the eyes, old, too much white, not inviting.Suggested improvements include: plants, art on the walls, glass, wood, reading and floor lamps, carpeting, rugs, more homey feel, painting the walls soft colorsthere was a very institutional prison-like quality about the library, and I think youre gradually breaking that down
Theme: FurnitureThe library needs more comfortable seating, particularly lounge-style seating.Big tables are preferred to some of the smaller ones. [my ideal learning environment has] comfortable chairs and places where you can just kind of relax while you study
Theme: Study and meeting roomsMore study rooms, particularly group study rooms would be appreciated.Study rooms could be bigger and all contain computers.Study rooms are not fully sound-proof. more group study rooms are needed because a lot of times I would come in and you wouldnt have any study rooms available.
Lessons LearnedPizza may not be an adequate inducement for participation in a focus group. Users did not know about many existing services and facilities. The library needs more marketing of what we do offer.In addition to our primary Health Science Center population, undergrads and those from outside UF use and value our facility.
Future ActivitiesContinue focus groups and recruit more participants through collegesRecruit faculty participation Plan for marketing of facilities and servicesLook at lighting, art and color in the library Visit and review other libraries space arrangementsIdentify furniture to be purchased when money is availableGive users the opportunity to draw their ideal library space
THANK YOU! ANY QUESTIONS?