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- Looking at preference, behaviors, and impact: A case study of library space renovation
- Elrod, Rachael
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- Physical Description:
- Many academic libraries encounter the need to renovate physical spaces to incorporate emerging technologies and address the need for 21st-century learning spaces. Facing this challenge, we present the assessment tools used to evaluate the use of the physical space prior to embarking on a multimillion-dollar branch library renovation. We use formative and summative data to improve the functionality of physical space, examine its impact on student use and establish baselines for longitudinal research on student scholarship impacts. The prior renovation of the Education Library at the University of Florida took place in 1980 so a long-overdue plan was conceived and received funding. Seizing this opportunity, we conducted phase one of a two-phase study to gather pre and post renovation user feedback to support or alter planning and examine impacts.
We assessed space usage and user perceptions prior to the renovation in three distinct ways: 1) a survey; 2) unobtrusive observations; and 3) analysis of gate count and circulation numbers. This study relied on multi-channel communication and extension of marketing reach with library stakeholders so we identified mechanisms that that can be reused post-renovation to determine both impact of the renovation on library users and impact on their academic outcomes.
The IRB-approved survey targeted education majors using dedicated email listservs, social media, in-house advertising targeting actual space users and was eventually extended to users living in the proximity of the space via word of mouth using staff member networks. We gathered student identification to use in phase two examination of any potential correlation of student performance and library satisfaction. While these findings will not be reported in this presentation, this is our intended deliverable.
The unobtrusive observation consisted of fourteen observations of the entire space using a layout of the space and a legend identifying the most common patron tasks, preferred locations, and most frequent behaviors. By comparing gate count and circulation numbers both before and after the renovation, we can determine whether the renovation has impacted library traffic and usage of loaned materials. We will present our detailed framework as we work to establish a reliable process for a multi-method space assessment that incorporates multiple data points triangulated to tell the story of a branch library experience in both qualitative and quantitative ways. This presentation examines:
â— The quality management standards used including human subjects oversight; a population survey distributed using controlled email listservs; structured social media messaging using the Education Library and College of Education channels; in-house advertising to focus on actual space users; and controlled contact to proximity users by appealing via social media/word of mouth.
â— Analysis using propensity markers on the resulting demographics to understand representativeness and generalizability.
â— Reliability testing of the space observations.
This process will be used in future space planning for the University Libraries as we continue to modify spaces for changing user needs.
Keywords: library renovation, spatial analysis, space utilization, circulation analysis, observational study
- Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Rachael Elrod.
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- University of Florida Institutional Repository
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- University of Florida
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- All rights reserved by the submitter.