SPEC Kit 342: Next-Gen Learning Spaces · 173
Space Requirements for Mann Library (excerpts)
Environmental Scan
In addition to the studies that we have conducted at Mann, library staff has also investigated innovations
in library spaces around the country. Two members of the Mann Learning Technologies Committee
visited several institutions-­‐-­‐Duke, North Carolina State, Georgia Tech, University of Massachusetts at
Amherst, Emory, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the showroom at Steelcase -­‐-­‐ this spring
to examine learning spaces in or attached to libraries, interview staff at these facilities, and gain ideas
about furniture and design. Staff members have also reviewed literature on library learning spaces to
help frame our ideas about the renovation.
Results from user studies and environmental scan
Analysis of the collected data for themes and patterns is ongoing and the findings are too detailed to
represent in full here (see Appendix A for more information}, but below are some preliminary common
In general for study spaces, our investigation uncovered the following patterns on students’ likes and
Likes Dislikes
Different kinds of spaces needed for
different purposes
Variety of comfortable furniture styles
and heights
Well lit especially with natural light
Plenty of outlets
Zoning for noise and quiet, differing
levels of privacy
Quiet but can make noise without
distracting others
Low traffic area few distractions
Aesthetics: new/modern feel, color and
visual interest, openness, “library” feel
Views and integration of nature/plants
Has people being productive and
necessary resources
Has computers and software
Work tables with room to spread out
Proximity to food and drink
Available and not too far away from
Too noisy or too quiet (which varies by
person and activity)
Uncomfortable furniture (wrong height
for typing, too little space between
people, wooden/hard, dividers) or
furniture is too comfortable and
encourages sleep rather than studying
No tables of appropriate height or
surface to work on
Too open feels like people are staring
at you
Too full of people
Too distracting high traffic too social
Bad lighting, dark, lights on timer
No outlets
Too enclosed, claustrophobic
Has to sit face to face with strangers
Out of the way
Unsure if reserved
Don’t like to study in other people’s
space or rooms
Depressing sitting in a row with limited
Colors are depressing and drab. No
color, pictures or plants
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