How Do you Work? Understanding User Needs for Responsive Study Space Design

Asha L. Hegde, Patricia M. Boucher, Allison D. Lavelle

Abstract

The academic library is changing. No longer simply a warehouse of information, the university library is a place for students and patrons to study, collaborate, socialize, and learn through social activities.1 This change in use reflects a paradigmatic shift from understanding the library as information repository to understanding the library as ‘place,’ ‘third space,’ and/or ‘learning commons.’ As the paradigm of the academic library changes, it transforms academic library design.2 Because the conceptual basis of current academic library design is still changing away from traditional academic library spaces, it is necessary to continuously evaluate user needs and desires for study spaces, and what makes an ideal study space, to keep the design of academic libraries relevant to its patrons.

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