Monday, February 27, 2012

User-Based Design and Advocacy

I decided to blog now, as opposed to after the "break", because I'll forget everything between now and then.  This week, we started out by having a video conference with Peg Sullivan, a consultant for library spaces. She talked about user based design within the library. Since their inception, libraries have been focused on creating spaces for the books to find a home. They needed tall shelves, with lots of space to expand, because there was no other way to access information. Now, with computers and the Internet, we can consolidate, so libraries are changing their purpose and their design to reflect this change.

What is user centered design, well, it's all about centering the library around the activities that users are going to use it for. Throughout the entire conversation, more than any other concept, I heard her talk about what the library is used for, which means it is no longer a repository of just books. 

How are you going to create user centered design? Just remember AEIOU:
  • Activities-look at what you want to happen in the library, what are students going to do. Are they going to be on the floor? Are they eating, are they moving things?
  • Environment
  • Interactions--what is happening and what would you like to happen?
  • Objects-what things do you need in your library, technology, seating, tables.
    • What are the physical objects that students are bringing in as well, are they bringing notebooks, laptops, tablets, how do you plan for them using those objects.
  • Users-observe them and the demographic, as well as other stakeholders (i.e., teachers, parents, administrators)
The other thing that really resonated with me is that it's okay to have a dream list for your library, as long as you don't expect it to happen immediately. Don't cut corners because it doesn't seem feasible right now,  if you do one thing on your dream list every year, eventually, you'll have your dream library.

After this, we switched gears back to advocacy. It's daunting, we know this, but we do what we can, where we can, when we can, and, if it's not enough for everyone, then we know we did our best. That's about all I have to say about advocacy.

This week, no class readings to respond to, enjoy "spring" break!


  1. I liked AEIOU a lot -- I hadn't heard her reference that before.

  2. I, too, like the idea of pacing yourself when it comes to acquiring ideal items for your library. It might take a few (or more) years to start looking as you imagined it, but it's so much better that doing nothing!

  3. I also appreciate thinking about what the library is used for, rather than viewing it as a book depository. While librarians and librarians-in-training understand this, I think the general public is still coming to this realization. How can our library spaces help change their perceptions? Hmm, I think I just came up with an idea for my grant proposal for another class...

  4. I also like the idea of creating your dream library at a pace that works for you. What a wonderful thought!

  5. Like everyone else, I like the idea of going at your own pace. Redesigning an entire library can be daunting--do one thing at a time is fun!


Thanks for commenting!