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Lippincott "Library Spaces: The Pandemic's Final Frontier"


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This presentation was provided by Joan Lippincott of The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), during Session Eight of the NISO training series "Assessment Practices and Metrics in a 21st Century Pandemic," held on November 6, 2020.

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Lippincott "Library Spaces: The Pandemic's Final Frontier"

  1. 1. Library Spaces: The Pandemic’s Final Frontier Joan Lippincott, Associate Executive Director Emerita Coalition for Networked Information 2020 Assessment Practices and Metrics for a 21st Century Pandemic: A NISO Webinar Training Series
  2. 2. Participants today Please share in the chat box  Name, institution  Any space-related assessment priorities in your library
  3. 3. Topics ❖ Space and the pandemic ❖ Space assessment basics ❖ Mission-driven assessment ❖Learning ❖Research/Digital scholarship ❖Community, inclusion ❖Wrap-up
  4. 4. Closure as assessment opportunity  “What would you do, as an assessment librarian, if in one afternoon your entire main library suddenly closed for more than a year?”  “Demonstrating library value was easy when suddenly the library was unavailable, but it created heartbreaking hardship to the university community. The opportunities for reconfiguring services, collections, and the facility are unprecedented and must be fully leveraged.”  Paper at LAC2020
  5. 5. Closure as assessment opportunity  What institution were those quotes from?
  6. 6. Space and the pandemic  Library spaces are closed or space use is greatly limited  Advances of decades of change are particularly threatened  Collaborative, social spaces  Technology-rich environments  Open stacks
  7. 7. Space and the pandemic  Was the library space pivot much less successful than the digital collections/services pivot?  Some (partial) successes  Reconfiguration of equipment loan  Access to wifi  Reconfiguration of public spaces  Re-purposing of library spaces  What should we document and assess about these changes?
  8. 8. Space and the pandemic  Pandemic has heightened awareness of the community/social/engagement aspects of campus life  How do libraries use this awareness as an opportunity?  How can this assist the library in being considered high priority for building/renovation funds when available?
  9. 9. Pandemic and space  University of Michigan Library study preliminary results  “What is more difficult?” 66% undergrads named work/study space  “Expressions of loss, now that the Library’s physical spaces and collections are not accessible. This was a consistent theme for undergraduate and graduate students, who expressed by the hundreds that the Library provides them with motivating spaces to focus on their individual and collaborative work. This was also a theme for many faculty members, who described the importance of being able to browse the collections to find needed materials for their work.” 
  10. 10. Pandemic and space  What should we be thinking about assessing now?  Adaptability of library spaces  Public  Staff  Method  Area by area analysis by selective factors  Moveable furniture  Air circulation  Automatic doors, lighting
  11. 11. Pandemic and space  How will you demonstrate the value of library spaces and promote the continuing investment in library spaces as an institutional priority?  What data should we be thinking about collecting as students and faculty return to campus? Your thoughts?
  12. 12. Library space assessment basics: Standard data collection  Gate counts  Counting use of seats  Counting use of equipment  Counting use of software  Counting use of group study rooms
  13. 13. National initiatives  LibQUAL+  Space becoming more important to users  ACRL Project Outcome  Basic toolkit including some questions on space  › projectoutcomeflyer_2019_v2  ARL Library Impact Pilots – Space  spaces/
  14. 14. Standard methodologies  Whiteboard questions  How would you improve this space?  Is this space meeting your needs?  Sandbox/experimental spaces  Furniture with questionnaire  New equipment with interviews
  15. 15. Assessment basics What do we know about what students like?  Surveys including LibQual  Focus groups  Diaries/photo studies  Light  Power and wifi  Both solo and collaborative spaces  Lots of writing surfaces
  16. 16. Assessment basics What do we know about how students work/spend their time  Diaries/photo studies  Focus groups  Some students spend many hours in the library  Individual students have individual behavior patterns
  17. 17. How do you use basic space data?  Trend lines, including during pandemic  Benchmarking  Capacity issues  Assessing continued need for equipment  Your thoughts?
  18. 18. Mission-driven assessment Focusing on learning needs Wilmeth Active Learning Center – Purdue U.
  19. 19. Assessment in these areas is complex  The impact of space alone is difficult to isolate  The impact of what we think of as “space” may be a combination of the physical facility, technology, programs, and expertise
  20. 20. Thinking about what matters  For libraries, “studying” has been the clearest link to space and learning outside the classroom  Do we want to broaden and/or deepen the links to learning?  Support of specific programs  Support of capstone projects or undergraduate research  Support of creativity through new media
  21. 21. How do students perceive their use of different types of spaces?  Taylor Family Digital Library, U. Calgary  gi/viewcontent.cgi?article=21 30&context=iatul
  22. 22. Library spaces and learning What do faculty need in order to create new types of assignments for their courses Class assignments determine what kind of learning activities students engage in for much of their time outside of class
  23. 23. What kind of spaces do students need for particular kinds of work? Duke University - The Edge
  24. 24. Needs Assessment: Lead Users  “We found that even at the undergraduate level, lead users are attempting to discover new modes of visualizing and communicating their work. In this instance, the lead user was a member of the library’s student advisory board and a chemical engineering major seeking to visualize chemical engineering data. There exist many visualization spaces on campus but they are typically housed in secure departmental labs, so we designed a suite of spaces and services available to everyone in order to support digital scholarship, whether through visualization, high performance computing, or even retro-technologies.” Ameet Doshi and Elliot Felix. Lead Users: A Predictive Framework for Designing Library Services and Spaces LAC 2016
  25. 25. Thinking about institutional context • Looking at spaces at the institutional level – Ex: Can students easily find collaborative spaces in which to work? • Looking at specialized facilities at the institutional level – Ex: Is the Engineering makerspace open to all? • Analyzing new programs offered by colleges or departments – Ex: Are more departments incorporating use of GIS in student assignments?
  26. 26. Thinking about institutional interest in assessment • What is important to your institution? – Student success – Persistence at the institution – Establishing a sense of community – New learning goals – Undergraduate research
  27. 27. Thinking about institutional interest in assessment • National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) • AAC&U Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) • National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA)
  28. 28. Partners in assessment Campus – Office of Undergraduate Education – Center for Teaching & Learning – Office of Institutional Research – Faculty in departments with “methods” classes – Campus initiatives – Office of Undergraduate Research – Student Success Center – ESL Office
  29. 29. Faculty testimonials
  30. 30. Library Stories: NC State • “The Visualization Studio makes possible a rich presentation of knowledge and a more interactive environment for its communication,” McManus says. “I was immediately struck by the creative potential it offered students in my ethnographic research methods course.”
  31. 31. Research/Digital Scholarship spaces Needs assessment  Environmental scan (campus)  Areas of need  Learning/Research  Technology  Expertise  Available library staff skills/expertise
  32. 32. Needs assessment for digital scholarship  Background reading  Faculty interviews and survey  Library staff interviews  Peer institution interviews Brenner, Aaron. Audit of ULS Support for Digital Scholarship. University of Pittsburgh, 2014.
  33. 33. Focus on digital scholarship
  34. 34. Ongoing assessment of digital scholarship program  Data gathered  Event attendance  Space headcounts  Room reservations  Describes how they use data  Ongoing assessment of program in relation to strategic priorities
  35. 35. Digital scholarship  How important are physical spaces?  An opportunity to assess  What to measure?  Access to equipment  Access to expertise  Access to programs  Building community  Your thoughts?
  36. 36. Digital scholarship  What data is being collected and disseminated?  What data is included with overall reference, consultation, instruction transactions?  Which staff are included?  What else should be documented?  Number of projects (how defined?)  Grant funds received
  37. 37. Digital scholarship  University of Calgary study  Mellon-funded  Faculty completed assessment  What did the library contribute to their project, e.g. collections, space?  What did library staff contribute to their project?  experience-case-studies-key-questions
  38. 38. Documenting digital scholarship contributions
  39. 39. Libraries and community  The library as a safe gathering place  The library’s role in welcoming underserved groups  Do we know what matters and how to assess whether our spaces provide a sense of community?
  40. 40. Community, inclusion  A sense of belonging  Correlation with persistence and improved grades  Under-studies topic in libraries  “Mapping the Sense of Belonging in Library Spaces”  Ted Chocock, College of Southern Nevada  Studied community college & research university  Qualitative methods  Paper at LAC 2020
  41. 41. Does this space provide a sense of community for undergrad commuting students? Odegaard Library – University of Washington
  42. 42. Which sub- populations should you study? What kinds of spaces would encourage students to spend more time learning outside of class? Family Study Space, Robarts Library, U. Toronto
  43. 43. Space assessment - 1st generation students  Qualitative study  3 progressive interviews with students  Photos and diary  Questionnaire/demographics  “Students perceive the library as a place of enduring academic knowledge that is signaled through the historic architecture and the grandeur of design, and supports their academic success.”  The library fosters a social and academic community beneficial to her work.  “…a lot of students who use the library know that the true learning that they get for their degree comes from here, from their research and the time they spend studying.” Karen Neurohr and Lucy Bailey, “First-Generation Undergraduate Students and Library Spaces.” Assessing Library Space for Learning. Ed. By Susan Montgomery. Rowman & Littlefield, 2017.
  44. 44. How one library promoted a sense of community  Architectural elements  Artwork  Gathering places  Social events
  45. 45. Bringing the community into the library  School and summer programs  Introducing under- served students to technology  What is the impact?  On the students  On the university
  46. 46. Wrap-up  Don’t miss this unique opportunity to gather data  Consider what is important to your institution  Think about what data (quantitative and qualitative) you’ll need to tell the library’s story as we emerge from the pandemic
  47. 47. Discussion  Are there other space-related topics you’d like me to discuss?  Do you have some good practice in library space assessment to share?
  48. 48. Thank You! Joan Lippincott Associate Executive Director Emerita Coalition for Networked Information (CNI)