Idea Share, Libraries, Library Director

An Easy Way For Libraries To Better Understand How Their Library Is Being Used

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Our janitor was out sick today and over the past few days we’ve had almost a foot of snow in our area. With snow comes wet boots and shoes and salt being tracked in through the doors. All of this mixed together results in our library being a little messier than usual these days. It’s all good…everyone deserves sick days to rest and heal and even though the snow can get yucky it is a pretty beautiful sight to see at least a foot of snow all around this time of year.

All of this led to me coming in to work a bit early today so that I could vacuum the library and tidy things up a little bit so everything didn’t add up. As I vacuumed mind mind began to wander. I thought about what Corinne Hill once told me back in the Chattanooga days…”make the maintenance team happy and everything will go smoothly”. I thought about how employees who work in maintenance and janitorial services really do make the library continue to operate and thrive and how we don’t usually think about the great work they do. I also veered off into the world of what janitors may see in libraries. I started to think about the details and what kind of information and ideas can be gleamed from those details. And then this idea hit me as my vacuum hummed and the salt it was picking up made small plinking noises as it made its way up the nozzle and into the dirt chamber…could we better understand how our community is using the library by the snow and salt their shoes are bringing into the library in winter? Why yes, Justin, I think we can!

Here’s what I noticed at the Benson Memorial Library:

  • The most affected areas by the snow and salt were the front entrance. This is of course something that can easily be understood.
  • From the front door, most of the snow and salt seemed to make a straight line past the circulation desk, past our DVD collection, and into our Children’s area.
  • To the left of the front door there was a bit more snow and salt than any other area. This is due to our newspapers and reading tables being in that area. These are heavily used by folks reading the newspaper or using their laptop in the library.
  • In our Reading Room, the most heavily used area was in front of our new books and NYT Bestsellers display. The couches and chairs in that room had some snow and salt, but not as much as in our newspapers area.
  • The back of our building, which is home to our nonfiction and fiction stacks, did not have much, if any, salt and snow. What can I learn from this? Maybe people are not browsing as much?
  • To the left of our circulation desk is the walkway to our restrooms. Of course, there was a lot of snow and salt in this area but we also do have a side exit so it could have been as a result of people using that as their exit.

What I’m trying to say with all of this is that there are many different ways for us to learn about our libraries. This is just one way, and in my opinion, one of the better ways to learn. I think there’s a lot for us to process and understand if we just look around. Look up, look down. Sit somewhere different during the day. Try something out that you don’t usually do during your day at work. What you may see or hear can be pretty amazing and overall it could change how you work as a librarian. All in all, these changes are for the best! We need to keep on growing.

 

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Libraries

Help an Interior Designer Help Libraries

Hello everyone! Today’s post comes from Danielle Lewis, an interior designer in NY and a friend of my co-worker Becky Stahl. She’s doing some research to help out libraries and I’m sharing her survey with y’all here. Please give this survey a few minutes and help someone out!


My name is Danielle Lewis – I’m the interior designer at LaBella Associates, D.P.C.​ in Rochester, NY. I’m reaching out because I’m currently working on research related to “Libraries of the Future” for a blog post and wanted to get your take on library trends.

Below I’ve included some questions that I’d love to get your response on. If you’d like to, please feel free to fill out your responses in red directly in the email below or send as an attachment.

If possible, your response is needed by next Monday, September 25th. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!

Name:
District or Branch:
Years of Experience:

What are the primary functions in your library? (Highlight those applicable)
– Providing books
– Providing videos
– Providing Audio/E-Books
– Internet Access
– Community meeting Space
– Public Classes
– In-School Classes
– Makerspaces
– Other ____________

Which of these functions are the most prominently used on a day-to-day basis? (Please rank Top 3)
1-
2-
3-

When you started your position, which of these functions were most prominently used on a day-to-day basis? (Please rank Top 3)
1-
2-
3-

About how much traffic do you estimate your library gets in one day? (Best guess, number of people)

Has this number increased or decreased since you started your position?

What technology is currently used by visitors at your library? (Highlight those applicable)
– Desktop Computers
– Laptop Computers
– Tablets
– Smart TVs
– Apple TV
– Chromecast
– Free Wireless Access
– Paid Wireless Access
– Virtual Reality
– Smart Furniture (i.e. tablet tables)
– Other ________________

Aside from technology, how has library usage changed during your tenure?

What trends in library usage/design do you see as being the most impactful?

Briefly, how do you define the “Library of the Future”?

If required, can we quote you directly in our blog post? (If not, your opinions will be kept anonymous)
Yes
No

PLEASE SEND YOUR RESPONSES TO:
Danielle M. Lewis, Assoc. IIDA, NCIDQ
dlewis@labellapc.com
http://www.labellapc.com