In the Assessment & User Experience department, one of our ongoing tasks is to gather and review patron feedback in order to identify problems and suggest improvements. While the libraries offer a wide variety of services to our patrons, one of the biggest and trickiest areas to get right is the design of our physical spaces. Typically inhabited by students, our library study spaces come in a variety of sizes and shapes and are distributed somewhat haphazardly throughout our buildings. How can we design our study spaces to meet the needs of our patrons? When we have study spaces with different features, how can we let our patrons know about them?
These questions and the need for a deeper assessment of library study space design inspired the formation of a small team – the Spaces With Intentional Furniture Team (or SWIFT). This team was charged with identifying best practices in study space furniture arrangement, as well as making recommendations on opportunities for improvements to existing spaces and outreach efforts. The team reviewed and summarized relevant literature on library study space design in a preliminary, internal report. We hope to publish a modified version of the report to Duke’s institutional repository in the coming weeks. In this post, we will share a few of the most surprising and valuable suggestions from our literature review.
Literature Review: “Library Study Space Design: Intentional, Inclusive, Flexible”
Filed by April 25, 2021on