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Library spaces designed with students in mind: An evaluation study of University of Queensland libraries at St Lucia campus
conference contributionposted on 2018-08-02, 00:00 authored by Neda AbbasiNeda Abbasi, R Tucker, K Fisher, R Gerrity
This paper identifies the design qualities of library spaces that matter the most for university students. Drawing upon the data from an online survey made available to students from the University of Queensland, Australia, a number of design-related considerations are examined including: acoustics, furniture, interior architecture, lighting, and thermal comfort. 1505 students completed the survey, which aimed to assess how effective and responsive library spaces are in meeting students' needs and supporting their learning experiences. The survey included 'Likert scale questions' requiring students to rate their levels of satisfaction with different aspects of library spaces and 'open-ended questions' asking students to elucidate their ratings. Findings revealed that the qualities of physical spaces were ranked as the third most significant category of reasons accounting for students' preference for certain library buildings over others, and for their frequency of visit (behind "location" of the library building and then "access to books and course-related materials or resources"). Design-related themes which emerged from qualitative analysis highlighted students' awareness of the impacts that the design of spaces and furniture can have on their learning experiences. The study concludes with recommendations informed by students' expectations, needs and preferences in relation to the qualities and features of library spaces.