Academic Librarians' Views on Their Spaces

February 2, 2016

When colleges and universities renovate their libraries, the changes they make often don't align with the priorities of librarians themselves, according to a survey of academic librarians by the Sasaki Associates, a design firm. The survey, of more than 400 librarians at nearly 200 institutions, found, for example, that 18 percent of renovations of libraries removed shelving when only 1 percent of librarians ranked the removal as a high priority, and 11 percent installed cafes when only 3 percent believed that to be a high priority.

Among other findings, 59 percent of librarians said their workspaces were hidden from public view, making it difficult for users to get the help they need, and nearly four in 10 librarians said the renovations their institutions had undertaken hindered their ability to do their jobs. Librarians were often not consulted for advice about the renovations, the survey found.

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