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Report about a Library visited - Library Information Science major
Visit a public library you have never visited before. Using this following checklist to assess the customer service, public environments, programs, popular collections, website and online resources, self-directed spaces, signage and wayfinding in the library. Observe/participate in one program, i.e. storytime, Makerspace program, teen program, senior program, etc. Report on your findings in a one-page report
Explore how the user sees the public library or learning commons through their eyes by performing this simple exercise. Make notes and follow up online as mentioned in the course.
1. Start from outside the front doors and look around at the approach on the way to the entry noting sidewalks, message boards, landscaping, windows, and signage. What is your eye drawn to? What do you think of?
2. Enter inside. What to you first see? What else do you hear and see next? What type of decisions do you need to make? What are your thoughts?
3. As you think like a new user, how many steps would it take for you to figure out what your choices are and where you might want to go? How would you need to negotiate to get to key services? Go through this step for several customer groups in order to understand your layout through their eyes.
4. Note the types of equipment, furniture, color, flooring and lighting of spaces and how they are used to welcome those user groups. How does the environment cue the user to the various options they have? In what ways might it be confusing?
5. Look around for staff. What is staff doing? How would they appear to a new customer? What does the service desk(s) space look like? Does it seem like a necessary step for users to stop there before proceeding? Could a new user navigate the facility without staff help? Note clutter or extraneous signage.
6. Describe the type of signage you have that directs your users to services and program spaces? Does the library take into account children, teens, students or non-English speakers? Can a customer walk quickly through but also take cues by reading necessary signage while “on the go”? How reliant on signage are your customers in this facility or space? Do you see collection materials or equipment that may queue a person to their destination?
7. Would new customers be able to find a place to sit and “plug-in” to use your wifi? Does the library promote their website and 24/7 access and wifi in this area?
8. Proceed on to a few of the program spaces and look around while in the “shoes” of your customers. For example, if you go to the space for students wanting to collaborate on projects what do you see? What do you think? Is the space easy to book? What is the furniture like? The color and flooring and lighting like? Are there didactic rule signs? What are the collections and services for them there? Are there spaces where they can be comfortable and talk without getting “shushed”? Is there a silent study option for those preferring quiet space? What else would you want to see there?
9. Repeat step 7 as you see fit. Note your experiences. Add questions if needed. E.g., Are there a number of study rooms? Is it easy to print, use wifi, study in small or large groups, move chairs around to accommodate this type of learning? What necessary steps does it take to perform these? Is it as simplified as it can be? Or if for a young child, is there abundant children’s furniture? Is the space welcoming, colorful, sensory-bound such as having manipulative equipment, carpet that encourage play and discovery?
10. When in each of these spaces are there two or more library services that are closely linked in use but they are far apart in location or adjacency compounding navigation challenges for new users?
11. Which spaces seem underutilized? Note layout challenges that you see.
12. Which seem no longer used? Note any dated or clutter issues that have built up over time.
13. What space or service do you want to see? What would it look like? Where would it be located and why?
14. As you leave the facility review the services that would come into play. e.g. Checkout, Restrooms, Closing Announcements, Community Information and note your thoughts.
15. Please turn in your findings in a 1-2 page report. You may use this check sheet for your report structure.
Visit a public library you have never visited before. Using this following checklist to assess the customer service, public environments, programs, popular collections, website and online resources, self-directed spaces, signage and wayfinding in the library. Observe/participate in one program, i.e. storytime, Makerspace program, teen program, senior program, etc.