January 10, 2019

Library Space Planning

Tim Rohe, NHSL Reference Librarian, recently shared this in an email to the NH Library community. I am adding it here to be sure it reaches anyone who might find it helpful.

Hello Librarians,

     This one’s going out to all the librarians, everywhere (not just public librarians) because it’s not related to the annual report, for a change.  I’ll get back to working on that after this email, I promise, but I just wanted to share something real quick.  I have been having some conversations recently with people about data collection that can be used to help plan and implement the redesign and/or renovation of library spaces.  Since it’s not necessarily my area of expertise, I’ve reached out to my fellow State Data Coordinators (SDCs) about the various tools they and their colleagues use for such projects. 
     The SDC down in Florida told me about a piece of open-source software that I found pretty interesting.  It’s called SUMA and you can find a brief overview of it here.  If you’re interested, you can download the software off of GitHub here.  The resulting data from it can be used with data visualization tools like Tableau to create tools like heat maps of space usage in your library.  Examples in the webinar she shared were from an academic library and included findings such as a decrease in the public computers after networking the printers, resulting in a repurposing of the computer lab, and discovering that group tables were mostly being used by one person, so they replaced many of them with solo study areas.
    That is the extent of my knowledge of the project.  Since this seems to be a topic of interest, I can continue to share any such discoveries so that interested parties can investigate further on their own.  OK, back to the annual report, now.


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