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Evaluation of University of Queensland Library Spaces: three case studies at St Lucia Campus

Abbasi, Neda, Tucker, Richard, Fisher, Kenn and Gerrity, Robert 2014, Evaluation of University of Queensland Library Spaces: three case studies at St Lucia Campus, in ALIA 2014 : Proceedings of the 2014 Australian Library and Information Association National Conference, Australian Library and Information Association, Deakin, A.C.T., pp. 1-14.

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Title Evaluation of University of Queensland Library Spaces: three case studies at St Lucia Campus
Author(s) Abbasi, Neda
Tucker, RichardORCID iD for Tucker, Richard orcid.org/0000-0001-9989-251X
Fisher, Kenn
Gerrity, Robert
Conference name Australian Library and Information Association. National Conference (2014 : Melbourne, Victoria)
Conference location Melbourne, Victoria
Conference dates 2014/9/15 - 2014/9/19
Title of proceedings ALIA 2014 : Proceedings of the 2014 Australian Library and Information Association National Conference
Editor(s) [Unknown]
Publication date 2014
Conference series Australian Library and Information Association
Start page 1
End page 14
Total pages 14
Publisher Australian Library and Information Association
Place of publication Deakin, A.C.T.
Summary Introduction: The paper reports on an evaluation study of spaces in the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSHL), Biological Sciences (BSL) and Walter Harrison Law (WHLL) Libraries of the University of Queensland (UQ). The study was part of an evaluation of the quality and patterns of use of spaces in UQ libraries, which aimed to propose recommendations for future improvements and decision-making. This paper presents a study of areas of weakness in existing SSHL spaces, and impacts of the refurbishment of spaces at BSL and WHLL on students’ experiences. The findings evidence a link between students’ learning experiences and the quality of library spaces.

Methods:
An online survey, “Students’ Experiences and Perceptions of Library Physical Spaces”, was designed to collect data from students. The survey questions addressed seven topics: (1) overall satisfaction with spaces in the UQ Libraries; (2) welcoming nature of the library entry; (3) lighting; (4) acoustics; (5) furniture; (6) wayfinding; and (7) preferences for different space types in the library.

Results: 1505 students completed the surveys, with 1098 responses recorded to open-ended questions on why students visited the libraries and the physical characteristics of the spaces that influenced their experiences. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data elucidated key design challenges and considerations. In particular, the data suggested that the provision of individual quiet study spaces remains an important role of academic libraries, with Studying Alone identified as the most important reason for student visits.

Conclusions: The findings highlight the importance of individual study spaces and propose a number of recommendations in relation to physical space design and management.

Relevance:
Academic libraries face the challenge to keep pace with change in relation to students’ demographics, pedagogy and technology. In doing so, it is important to have an understanding of the evolving patterns of students’ learning behaviours, space uses and preferences through ongoing evaluation of library spaces.
Language eng
Field of Research 120101 Architectural Design
120199 Architecture not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 870101 Civil Construction Planning
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
ERA Research output type E Conference publication
Copyright notice ©2014, ALIA
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution noncommercial no derivatives licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30070298

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: School of Architecture and Built Environment
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.