Community consideration taken into account for campus library improvements
The UC Davis library hosted four workshops from Oct. 24 to Oct. 26 for the UC Davis community in order to further develop the Library Space Planning Project. The project aims to incorporate a variety of new spaces within the three campus libraries to serve the future needs of faculty and students.
During the workshop, attendees were encouraged to think of the library as a place for individual and small group study, for research, a space of collaboration and an academic hub.
“Rather than just start renovating, we are taking our time to consult with students and faculty to find out what […] they think the library does, and how we can change and transform the building to do that,” said William F. Garrity, UC Davis deputy university librarian and chief of staff.
These workshops were collaborative and hands-on, with participants encouraged to suggest ideas during small group activities. In one activity, attendees wrote ideas about how to improve the library on sticky notes, and group members expanded on those ideas. In the end, each participant presented one of their group’s ideas and everyone was given the chance to vote on which were the most innovative and useful.
Jiayi Young, professor in the Design Department who participated in the workshop, enjoyed the activities.
“I think it’s absolutely intriguing to imagine what the library will apply and how to incorporate from the university,” Young said. “I thought the energy that the small group had was incredible. A lot of people had ideas and dreams to write it out, doodle out, sketch it out and exchange. It was fabulous.”
Young hopes that the library will include a mutual space for interdisciplinary research and a materials lab in the future.
Shields librarian Axel Borg believes that the library has shifted to become more interdisciplinary over the years.
“There has been a changed attitude on campus from before,” Borg said. “The library was insular before, and we are now doing a lot to get that out.”
Borg, who attended one of the workshops, recommended that the future libraries include workshop-sized rooms to be used on a rotational and short-term basis.
These workshops are part of phase one, visioning, for the Library Space Planning Project, in which staff, students, faculty and community members can share their visions for the future of the university’s libraries.
“These workshops are to elaborate on the themes, maybe put more substance to them,” Garrity said. “Because the next step will be to talk in general about what kinds of spaces, for example, we support.”
Midpoint findings after the Spring Quarter 2016 included a desire for more access to food and coffee, more amenities like outlets and white boards, more diverse furniture and ambiance and meeting rooms with display technology.
In December, the library will host a university-wide forum, and it will release a final report in Feburary. The second phase of the project will run from March to October 2017 and will develop specifics of general space requirements so that architects and designers know what is needed. Phase three, design, will begin in November 2017 and will last for an indefinite amount of time.
Written by: Yvonne Leong — firstname.lastname@example.org