“A Really Nice Spot”: Evaluating Place, Space, and Technology in Academic Libraries

Michael J. Khoo, Lily Rozaklis, Catherine Hall, Diana Kusunoki


This article describes a qualitative mixed-method study of students’ perceptions of place and space in an academic library. The approach is informed by Scott Bennett’s model of library design, which posits a shift from a ‘book-centered’ to a technology supported ‘learning centered’ paradigm of library space. Two surveys gathered data on (a) students’ perceptions of places in an academic library, and (b) on occupancy rates in the same library. When triangulated, the results identified two distinct and contrasting models of place: a more traditional model based on individual study near stacks of books, and an emergent technologically-supported group study model. The results suggest that academic libraries should develop new metrics to measure library place and space in settings of technologically-supported group work.

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Copyright © 2016 Michael J. Khoo, Lily Rozaklis, Catherine Hall, and Diana Kusunoki, Attribution-NonCommercial (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) CC BY-NC.

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