Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Understanding Library Space Planning
by Gstalder, Steven Herbert, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2017, 222; 10289537
Abstract (Summary)

The role of the academic library has shifted from developing book collections to serving the information and technology needs of students and faculty. The needs of library users change more quickly and unpredictably than the needs of books, and library directors have pushed beyond the traditional incremental approach to library development to respond to changing needs. As many universities struggle to balance budgets, library directors must demonstrate the value and demand for library spaces and services to justify investments in construction and renovation projects. This study investigates the reasons that the new library space projects were undertaken and the forces driving decisions about investments in the library facilities. The cases in this dissertation present studies of three private, non-profit liberal arts institutions in the Eastern United States that have recently invested in major renovation or construction projects for new library spaces. At each site, interviews and focus group sessions were conducted with librarians, students, faculty, and library administrators. Archival material was researched to supplement the data collected from the subjects of the interviews. A multi-lens framework of strategic change is used to examine the forces and factors that influenced the decisions to pursue new library spaces in each case study. The institutions in the study successfully developed new learning commons and library spaces through renovation or construction projects. Each of the libraries in the study faced similar factors leading to a new space, including overcrowding, interest from students in collaborative learning, increased demand for access to technology, and the decline in the use of the printed book. The strong leadership of the library director, with support from the institution’s president, contributed to the success of each project in the study. The importance of this study derives from its examination of the changing factors and forces that drive the uses of new library spaces, highlighting the need to build flexibility into new construction projects.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Perna, Laura W.
Commitee: Garland, Peter H., Vedantham, Anu
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Higher Education Management
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Library science, Management, Information Technology
Keywords: Information commons, Leadership, Learning commons, Library, Library construction, Library renovation
Publication Number: 10289537
ISBN: 9780355218893
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