Evaluation of University of Queensland Library Spaces: Three Case

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Evaluation of University of
Queensland Library Spaces:
Three Case Studies at St Lucia Campus
ALIA National 2014 Conference: “TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER”
The Pullman Albert Park Hotel, Melbourne, Australia, 15-19 September 2014
Neda Abbasi, Deakin University
Richard Tucker, Deakin University
Kenn Fisher, University Of Melbourne
Robert Gerrity, University Of Queensland
Presenter: Robert Gerrity
INTRODUCTION
• Understanding evolving
patterns of students’
learning behaviours,
space uses & preferences
• Evaluation of spaces in
Social Sciences and
Humanities (SSHL);
Biological Sciences
(BSL); and Walter
Harrison Law (WHLL)
Libraries
• Identifying areas for
improvement in SSHL &
impacts of refurbishments
at BSL & WHLL
• Online survey of “Student
Experience of Library
Spaces”
• 1505 survey completed,
with 1098 responses to
open-ended questions
BACKGROUND
Major Drivers
• The need to study
impacts of space
characteristics on library
use & to determine the
right balance of individual
and group study spaces
• Findings of 2012
insyncsurveys
Study Aims
• Determine effectiveness
of spaces re students’ &
faculty’s needs
• Identify weakness and
strength of library spaces
• Outline evidence-based
recommendations
CONTEXT
SSHL
BSL
WHLL
METHOD
Student Experience of Library Spaces Survey
(1) Questions about all
branches of UQ Library
• Library Users’ Characteristics &
Patterns of Library Use
• Rating the importance of quiet,
ambience, access to information,
library as a meeting place, and
encouragement by seeing other
students studying
• Quality and Function of Library
Spaces
(2) Questions about one of the
three case studies
PATTERNS OF LIBRARY USE
Number of hours spent in the library during
SEMESTER WEEKS
Number of hours spent in the library during
EXAM PERIODS
Frequent Activities in UQ case study libraries
SSHL
BSL
WHLL
1
2
Studying alone
Studying alone
Studying alone
Completing an individual
assignment/Writing a paper
Completing an individual
assignment/Writing a paper
Completing an individual
assignment/Writing a paper
3
4
Using my own laptop
Using the library computers
Using my own laptop
Finding/borrowing books and
journals
Using my own laptop
Using the library computers
5
Using the library computers
Collaborating with
colleagues/Group study
Collaborating with
colleagues/Group study
REASONS FOR LIBRARY VISIT
Location
242
Access to Books & Course-Related Resources
191
Design i.e. layout & variety of spaces
100
Study Spaces
74
Quiet Spaces
29
Availability Of Computers
29
Furniture i.e. lockable desks
27
Wayfinding
Post Graduate Space In Duhig Tower
SSHL
No. of References
16
10
Opening Hours/Access
9
Group Study Areas
6
Environmental Comfort
5
BSL
WHLL
Frequency of Use of Different Spaces
DESIGN-RELATED QUALITIES
“It is a much more pleasant aesthetic,
and the glass and open planning are
a much more comfortable place to
study. I don't like the feeling of being
enclosed in a space and this helps
tremendously.”
“It has nice modern decor and
architecture that makes it welcoming
and peaceful. It also has several
different zones which is pleasant …
The spaces are varied and I like to
change places depending on the type
of work I am completing.”
A Welcoming Library Entry
1000
945
900
800
667
700
600
500
400
625 642 623
636
511
497 493
385
383
379
256
300
200
474 469
201
150
301
288
226
210
103
100
193
134
47
0
Very important
Somewhat important
Neutral
Somewhat unimportant
Sitting and lounge areas with comfortable furniture
A cafe in close proximity to a library entry
Open spaces/glass walls to see through inside the library
Food and Drink vending machines
A gallery or some exhibition spaces for works of arts or display of new books
Very unimportant
ACOUSTICS & LIGHTING
Responses to the
question of ‘how often
do you find library
spaces noisy and
difficult to work in?’
Theme Identified from Comments
on the lighting in UQ library spaces
RECOMMENDATIONS
• Library as a place for “Quiet
Individual Study”
• Zoning strategies to separate
noisy and quiet spaces
• Clear signage in proper
• Thoughtful and creative design
of furniture
• “Choices” of study carrels or
individual study desks i.e.
furniture, orientation, location
and the degree of visual privacy
locations
• Strategies to introduce to
• Less formal space for students
to read and reflect; a space for
creativity and reflection
students what is on offer re
spaces
THANK YOU!
www.evaluation-of-academic-library-spaces.com
Neda Abbasi, [email protected]
Richard Tucker, [email protected]
Kenn Fisher, [email protected]
Robert Gerrity, [email protected]
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