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Academic Library Building Design: Resources for Planning: User Studies & Precedents

ACRL and Core have joined forces to provide a basic framework for architects, planners, and librarians embarking on the planning and design of libraries for higher education.

User Studies

Updated June 2022

In addition to local studies, planners may want to consult studies which outline how users will likely use the space, considering the various types of library users as well as the role of technology. These articles and websites are recommended:

ACRL. Academic Library Building Design: Resources for Planninghttps://wikis.ala.org/acrl/index.php/
Academic_Library_Building_Design:_Resources_for_Planning

Archambault, Susan and Alexander Justice (2017). Student Use of the Information Commons: An Exploration through Mixed Methods. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, Vol. 12 Issue 4: 13-40. http://https://doi.org/10.18438/B8VD45

Bell, Scott (2022). Moving to Mobile: Space as a Service in the Academic Library. EDUCAUSE Review. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2022/4/moving-to-mobile-space-as-a-service-in-the-academic-library

Chan, Diana L.H., and Gabrielle K.W. Wong (2013). If You Build it, They Will Come: An Intra-institutional User Engagement Process in the Learning Commons. New Library World, Vol. 114 Issue 1-2: 44-53. doi: 10.1108/03074801311291956

Coleman, Roger, Clarkson, John and Julia Cassim (2016). Design for Inclusivity: A Practical Guide to Accessible, Innovative and User-Centered Design. CRC Press.

Dell’Era, Claudio and Paolo Landoni (2014), Living Lab: A Methodology between User-Centered Design and Participatory Design. Creativity and Innovation Management, 23: 137–154. doi:10.1111/caim.12061

Dempsey, Lorcan (2015). The Library in the Life of the User. OCLC Presentation. https://www.slideshare.net/lisld/the-library-in-the-life-of-the-user

ELI Learning Spaces (e-book, freely available) https://www.educause.edu/research-and-publications/books/learning-spaces  This e-book has chapters on many aspects of learning space design, emphasizing learning principles, student needs and behaviors, technology and case studies. See especially Chapters 1-13.

Foster, Nancy Fried, editor. (2014). Participatory Design in Librarieshttps://www.clir.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/pub155.pdf

Foster, Nancy Fried and Susan Gibbons, editors. (2007) Studying Students: The Undergraduate Research Project at the University of Rochester. Association of College and Research Libraries
http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/publications/booksanddigitalresources/digital/Foster-Gibbons_cmpd.pdf

User Studies

Gisolfi, Peter (2018). Collaborative Library Design: From Planning to Impact. Chicago: ALA Editions. 

Grummon, P.T.H. (2009). Best Practices in Learning Space Design: Engaging Users. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, Vol. 32 No. 1. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2009/3/best-practices-in-learning-space-design-engaging-users

McGlynn, Megan, Amanda Peters, and Shae Rafferty. (2012) If You Build It, Will they Come? Library Learning Spaces and Technology. EDUCAUSE Review. Oct 31. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2012/11/if-you-build-it-will-they-come-library-learning-spaces-and-technology

Montgomery, Susan E, editor. (2017) Assessing Library Space for Learning. Rowman & Littlefield

Mehta, Priya and Andew Cox (2019). At Home in the Academic Library? A Study of Student Feelings of Homeness. New Review of Academic Librarianship. DOI: http://10.1080/13614533.2018.1547774

OCLC. Perceptions of Libraries: Context and Community. (2010) https://www.oclc.org/content/dam/oclc/reports/2010perceptions/2010perceptions_all.pdf

Primary Research Group. (2022). Survey of American College Students 2022, Use of Personal Study Rooms in the Academic Libraryhttps://www.primaryresearch.com/AddCart.aspx?ReportID=708

Proffitt, Merrilee, Michalko, James and Melissa Renspie (2015). Shaping the Library to the Life of the User: Adapting, Empowering, Partnering, Engaging. OCLC Summary.  http://www.oclc.org/research/publications/2015/oclcresearch-shaping-library-to-life-of-user-2015.html

Schmidt, Aaron and Amanda Etches (2014). Useful, Usable, Desirable: Applying User Experience Design to Your Library. Chicago: American Library Association.

Scoulas, Jung Mi and Sandra L. De Groote (2022). Impact of Undergraduate Students' Library use on Their Learning Beyond GPA: Mixed-Methods Approach. College & Research Libraries, Vol. 83 Issue 3. doi: https://doi.org/10.5860/crl.83.3.452

Searing, Susan E., and Karla Stover Lucht (2006). The Library as Place: The Changing Nature and Enduring Appeal of Library Buildings and Spaces. UI Current LIS Clips: A current awareness service for the library and information community.

Part I, General topics and non-academic libraries. Internet Archive URL: http://web.archive.org/web/20070107121636/http://clips.lis.uiuc.edu/2006_09_print.html.

Part 2, Academic and research libraries. Internet Archive URL: http://web.archive.org/web/20090420170803/http://clips.lis.illinois.edu/2006_09P2.html. This site includes many summaries and pointers to key articles and documents, with some focusing on users.

Wilson, Chauncey (2014). Interview Techniques for UX Practitioners: A User-Centered Design Method. Elsevier.