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Come learn about library design at Gensler!

by Laura ten Pas

The architecture and design Gensler firm, where I am a materials librarian, has a culture of learning and exploring new ideas. Part of this means investing in research to inform the strategy and design work of the firm. Within the practice of library design, Gensler researchers were curious about the changing landscape of academic libraries so they set out to explore what the future holds.

The investigation began by working with seven universities and using Gensler’s Observe app which allows for tracking both when and how a space is used throughout the day. One surprising result researchers found is that seats in use averaged only 25% and never rose above 50% usage in the participating university libraries. Among other opportunities listed at the Future of the Academic Library link below, this points to an opportunity for usage growth without the need to increase square footage.

After this initial study, researchers conducted roundtables with library leaders and surveyed students for further insight. Another key finding was despite the popularity of creating collaboration spaces in recent years, the student surveys found the majority of students prefer to use the library for individual study, emphasizing a need for those quiet, private spaces in addition to collaborative areas.

Learn more:

Future of the Academic Library

Students on Libraries

Librarians on Libraries

In the public library realm, the firm has been doing some unique work with NYPL revamping its storage facility and book retrieval system under Bryant Park. You can read about the design challenges of designing underground storage and watch a video of the new book train delivery system.

I look forward to giving you a tour of the office, sharing more of Gensler’s thought leadership in library design, and how I support the design work done in the Atlanta office as an information professional on Thursday, October 20thClick here to learn more or register for the event.

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