Designing better workspaces for academic library staff: Case study of University of Queensland library
journal contributionposted on 07.06.2018, 00:00 authored by Neda AbbasiNeda Abbasi, K Fisher, R Gerrity
The paper examines library staff experiences of workspaces in academic libraries. It draws upon the data from a survey of “Staff Experience of Library Physical Spaces” made available to the staff at different branches of the University of Queensland Library in 2013. The survey focused on library staff overall satisfaction with the quality of their workspaces and their opinions on positive and negative features of these spaces. The staff rated their level of satisfaction with aspects of physical workspaces in the library including lighting, acoustics, thermal comfort, indoor air quality, and storage. In addition, four design issues of security, flexibility, welcoming nature of library entry, and wayfinding were examined in detail. 79 library staff completed the survey and more than 50 responses were recorded to the survey open-ended questions. The analysis of the qualitative data identified design-related factors that are most important for the library staff and provided insights into possible design improvements to library staff workspaces. Drawing upon the major themes emerged from the staff comments, the paper concludes with a number of considerations for planning and design of workspaces for library staff including: (1) strategies to maximise environmental comfort i.e. thermal, acoustics, and visual comfort; (2) functional requirements of staff spaces in relation to the work-related activities i.e. personal and work-related storages; (3) human factors and ergonomics; (4) psychological impacts of interior design elements on staff productivity and satisfaction; (5) strategies to encourage collegial interactions and foster a sense of community, pride, and ownership over workspaces.