Title

Collaborative design: A learner-centered library planning approach

ORCiD

0000-0002-4201-8335

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

The Electronic Library

ISSN

0264-0473

Volume

26

Issue

6

DOI

10.1108/02640470810921592

First Page

803

Last Page

820

Publication Date

1-1-2008

Abstract

Purpose – Information commons were introduced into libraries in the early 1990s. Now universities are building library learning commons and campus learning spaces. This paper sets out to present a participatory library (re)design approach for collaborative planning “for and with” faculty teachers, student learners, and campus stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach – Collaborative design (co‐design) employs user‐centric investigations to produce products, applications, and environments aimed at advancing learning, sustaining communication, and building relationships. Examples from California Polytechnic State University and San José State University in California, USA, suggest the efficacy of this inclusive, learner‐centered (re)design approach for library facilities, services, and systems.

Findings – Inviting and enabling user input from the start offers a fruitful planning approach in which campus librarians, stakeholders, and beneficiaries “learn their way” to appropriate library (re)design decisions. Also, user involvement in information gathering and interpretation activities initiates the interactive relationships necessary for continuous improvement.

Practical implications – Collaborative design (co‐design) yields sustained interaction with user beneficiaries and campus stakeholders. It changes how library staff members think and what they think about, concurrent with enhancing libraries' appeal and value.

Originality/value – In development since 2002, the highly participatory design approach reflects theoretical and applied insights from researchers in Europe, Australia, and North America who have worked with US library practitioners to develop user‐centric processes for advancing organizational learning and enhancing user efficacy. Its practical application to planning for library learning commons and learning spaces contributes to the small but important literature on user‐centered library (re)design.

Comments

Paper received the Emerald Literati Network Highly Commended Award