DAHSL: Developing Academic Health Sciences Libraries

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From DBL: More To The Library Experience Than What We See

By StevenB on library_design

When I speak to library colleagues about design and design thinking I try to put the concepts into context by first asking them what things come to mind when thinking about design as it is most often applied in our profession. Not unexpectedly, the responses are always limited to the building, both internal and external design considerations. Think about our literature. Our two major practitioner publications, American Libraries and Library Journal both offer design issues or supplements. Both of them cover the same thing, new buildings, building renovations and odds and ends for buildings. As far as librarianship is concerned design, and user experience along with it, is building-centric. Here at Designing Better Libraries we’ve tried to communicate a consistent message that design can mean much more than just our interiors and exteriors. Library design should also be perceived as a process we use to improve the quality of the experience for our user community.

That said, it’s important not to underestimate the value of a well-designed library environment. It’s a crucial element of an overall library experience. As an example I wanted to share a post written by Library Scenester about a visit to the library at Miami University at Ohio. Library Scenester is clearly impressed with the design of the library, pointing out highlights such as clear and functional signage (a problem in many libraries), comfortable and attractive furniture, and features such as the use of color and well placed artwork. These are great observations, and this post reflects what I enjoy so much about my visits to both academic and public libraries – discovering great ideas for improving my own library and sharing it with my colleagues. I also like to ask many questions of the staff about their reasons for choosing certain design elements….Read entire post here: http://dbl.lishost.org/blog/2009/11/18/more-to-the-library-experience-than-what-we-see/

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