Submitted by Brenda Ellis
Attendees: Brenda Ellis, Carrie Macfarlane (presenter), Brendan Owens (co-presenter), Joy Pile, Jean Simmons, Elin Waagen, Joseph Watson
Carrie & Brendan’s presentation: http://dspace.nitle.org/handle/10090/6141
All other presentations available at : http://www.dartmouth.edu/~biomed/services.htmld/OctCon2008/index.shtml
Elin’s notes are on the circulation blog: http://sites.middlebury.edu/circservices/2008/10/13/darmouth-october-conference-space-20-small-scale-library-redesign-projects/
Informal summary of highlights (combined notes from Jean, Brenda, Joy, Joseph, Carrie)
“Best Practices for Planning, Designing and Servicing New Spaces” – top points
Assess users needs – think about what users will be doing in spaces – what will draw them in. Ask them what they want.
Have a guiding document with agreed upon goals and objectives – i.d. project “shepherds”
Work in phases rather than wait for major funding
stay flexible – design for future change/reconfiguration – use flexible furniture
consider noise levels.
line of sight between service desks (low shelves) – seek input from everyone who staffs a service point.
Get outside buy-in (administrators) and make use of architect consultants (BE suggestion: faculty – maybe input of McLeod’s architecture class)
“Digital Social Science Center” (Columbia University) – top points
After assessment discovered: More group study space needed; scanning & printing important; need presentation practice space; need to market services better.
Glassed-off areas to create group study/presentation rooms?
The speaker pointed out the challenge of making this underground location seem light and inviting by changing the lighting and furnishings.
“Rolling White Boards and Good Chairs – Priceless”- top points
Involved the students in the assessment process by having a “chair contest” – sample chairs with clipboards, inviting student
Purchased not just chairs, but Ottomans as well
Whiteboards on wheels – so that groups can create “privacy” spaces
Group workstations with large screen iMACs, with the monitors left on
Table spaces where students can spread out
“Step by Step: Small Space Improvements in the John Crerar Library” – top points
Moveable furniture – everything on wheels; foldable tables
One room has a partition
Presentation Boards in rooms
Media tree (portable LSD screen) – can attach computer and DVD and bring it anywhere
Formed a team to undertake the planning and included the donor
“Renovating a 1970’s Library” – top points
Collection study – found decrease in use of current periodicals; gov’t docs; microfilm; reference
Relocated periodicals and added group study tables to area; Reference Room converted to group studies (partioned areas – columns have power/ethernet run down from ceiling; blackboards; LCD panels +Mac adapters)
Students wanted: electrical outlets for laptops; better lighting; more comfortable chairs; group study space
“Polishing the Diamond” (library at UNH)
Redesigned 2 work areas – a digital scanning lab and the gov docs work area.
Make changes along the way; don’t spend too much on temp fix
Took away public gov’t docs ref desk and turned it into public space and IT support.
Carrie presented a well-received session about her use of post-it notes to gather student feedback about study spaces
Janet Cottrell, director, gave a thought provoking presentation about how Champlain College energized [my term] the entrance “walk through” space to draw attention to the book collection.
o She made effective use of overlays, demonstrating true free space availability in her building (transparency showing classrooms not under library control, one showing utility spaces, one showing stack floor print . . .) = Excellent, low-tech demo tool!
o Her theme: look with new eyes at existing practices and spaces
– Giant reference desk became at times a display counter—and at other times, a place to serve refreshments
– Low shelves were used for displays
– Faculty author book talks were held right on the main floor—w/ refreshments and opportunity for folks to mix and share ideas (scheduled so as not to interfere with quieter study times)
– Frequent thematic book displays that, because they filled a small space, took on more importance than a small display tucked away in the lobby. (Their library keeps jackets on books until they become shabby)
– Display of artwork, as well, now
o Although a causal relationship hasn’t been established, their circ stats have increased noticeably since they began this initiative
o A once empty pass-through space is now often people-filled.
From the conference overall, the message I came away with was the effectiveness of making small, incremental changes.
o It’s okay to make mistakes, if investment is small
o Don’t plan it to death. Try it out, even if not fully developed
o Work with modular, flexible units, so they can be tried in several areas and/or rearranged.
o If you can’t do it all, at least make a start
Good ideas (seen in photos etc.)
Group study tables with display panels (like we have in group studies – but in more places)
Use carpet and color to make spaces more inviting (see Bridgewater State)
Create smaller rooms within larger ones using glass partitions
Comfortable chairs with ottomans
IMACs with the screen left on to invite users for group projects
Add whiteboards and blackboards. Can buy white boards on wheels.
Different sized tables rooms for dif size groups.
Can create a small group study area in a large room with a pod-like moveable wall
Market your progress
“Little Think Big” group meets regularly to brainstorm on potential changes to library
Check with UNC-Charlotte – has multiple service desks (info; ref; circ; reserves) and are considering consolidating.
One library added “flat wiring under carpets” – what does that mean? Could we add more electric and network without drilling into concrete? Another library brought power down through columns from ceilings