Finland: from yesterday’s boat trip …
Our library is beginning to renew it’s library space and for that it is essential to know how the library space is being used now.
What kind of different areas and spaces do we need to provide for our customers? Can we get rid of most of the written material and shift fully into the electronic era? What kind of services should remain and what kind of activities should we consider to get rid of? Do we need new entrances somewhere?
Observing the customers now should help us to serve the customers of near future (2012).
I must say that I was very skeptical about being able to use this method in larger libraries, like Stockholm University.
There is just so many students, much movement and several floors. However, the successful application of the method at Oslo University College has made me intrigued.
I still have my doubts about the value of the information, as it is merely counting “instances of observations” – samplings rather than actual persons/behavior. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the concept, it just seems as it would prove to be to unreliable an information.
But, I will need to take a closer look at the reports from Oslo before I can make any serious evaluation. I look forward to having on my table yet another big report to read. =)
My organization is having a new building and also libray is moving to the new building. EBL might help us know how library space is used now in the old building and how to organize space and collections in the new library.
We have been discussing space quite a lot recently because two more libraries joined our library.
The question of less frequented zones came up when we moving shelves from here to there. Alas, we have very different ideas about where the “unproductive” areas are located.
If you visit e.g. the newspaper area at times when it happens to be empty, you are not convinced when someone tells you that the same area is packed with students another time of the day.
Some weeks ago representatives of the students union claimed that students are fighting over computers at our library. The staff had not wittnessed any such incidents. So, who’s telling the truth?
It seems that CTT could help us solve these kinds of problems. I am definitely going to recommend this method next time we discuss the use of space.
- Statistics as evidence. Lecture notes for summer course in Finland (= PL 19/10)
- Lars Egeland’s presentation of the 2009 traffic study at Oslo University College