Ubiquitous Insight (Academic Libraries Again!)

So glad to see Brian S. Matthews in the current class of M&S. While I am on this kick pondering the role of the academic library, it was nice to catch this in his profile:


We can and should lure students in with library spaces designed for patrons, not librarians, Mathews says. On his blog, The Ubiquitous Librarian, he describes a campus study that analyzed spaces nonlibrary users preferred for studying, spaces that combined “refreshments, aesthetics, friends, comfort, cleanliness, diversions, and unpredictability.” Library renovations were accordingly aimed at allowing sociability, playfulness, and a recharging of mental batteries. Mathews is also full of ideas for fun library events (Trivia Nights, speed dating, a night of rappelling down the Library Tower) and better ways to market them.

Mathews wants librarians to use assessment techniques focused on the users’ experience, not library inputs. When a library’s services aren’t working for its users, we need to change them, he argues. “We should support responsible risk-taking.”

This, in my book, is a path to the future for academic libraries to thrive! More here.