University libraries struggle to keep up with rapidly changing technology and the associated change in teaching strategy. Most administrators and librarians are often not trained to assess space needs and struggle to reassign library spaces for non-traditional library use. As such, they often embark on expensive and time-consuming feasibility studies, using (typically) hard-earned monies to complete the research or to pilot a new space. What academic research library administrators and staff lack is an analysis tool for discovering and planning needed renovations and improvements in aging library facilities. The purpose of this research project was to determine how students use library spaces for learning in this new high-tech, hands-on education experience (i.e. synthesis of previous research); develop a tool that can be used by library staff to self-analyze existing academic library spaces, identifying areas that could be improved for student benefit (e.g. provide a checklist of potential learning spaces that institutions should carefully consider adding to their facilities); and provide some examples/case studies of potential facility improvements. The end result is a hierarchical self-analysis tool that merges space options, Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, and an example of library-user personas. It also provides some general cost guidelines, helpful construction tips, and a synthesis of exploratory questions related to strategy and space. The tool uses evidence-based design to facilitate important conversations, provide an organized checklist of various considerations, and be a quick reference for library administrators and facility managers as they navigate the world of twenty-first century pedagogy and student learning.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





library learning spaces, library renovations, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, the Hierarchy of Learning Space Attributes, library as place, twenty-first century library, library user personas, personas, evidence-based design, user experience design



Included in

Engineering Commons