May 20, 2022

MIT Libraries Asks Students What They Want in a Library Space?

From a MIT Libraries Blog Post:

If you were to design the perfect library, what would it look like? MIT students shared their ideas about library spaces in two sessions held last month. Over fifty students representing both grads and undergrads attended the meetings to discuss upcoming renovations planned for Hayden Library and other library spaces.


Here’s a short summary of the students’ ideas:

Library spaces should support a variety of activities, such as:

  • Work and study spaces for individuals, small groups, and large groups
  • Group study rooms, available 24/7
  • Spaces to learn and create
  • Semi-social, quasi-public places to work and socialize while not disturbing others (with different zones for different noise levels)
  • Places to reflect and take a break
  • A café with coffee and snacks
  • Places to enjoy art, exhibits, and collections

The library environment should be inviting and comfortable:

  • It should be easy to find things and navigate through Hayden
  • Study spaces should be well lit and inviting
  • The great views in Hayden could be enhanced by “bringing the outside in and inside out”
  • There should be a mix of seating–seats at big tables and carrels for working, as well as soft comfy seating for relaxing
  • Furniture should be comfortable and easily movable to reconfigure spaces for multiple uses

Library spaces should support technology with:

  • The ability to integrate one’s own technology throughout the Library
  • Full technical, multi-media services and support
  • Media creation tools such as design software, video and recording capabilities, and color printers

Direct to the Complete List of Student Ideas (5 pages; PDF)

Read the Complete Blog Post

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.