Libraries as co-working spaces : understanding user motivations and perceived barriers to social learning

Bilandzic, Mark & Foth, Marcus (2013) Libraries as co-working spaces : understanding user motivations and perceived barriers to social learning. Library Hi Tech, 31(2), pp. 254-273.

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Abstract

This paper aims to inform design strategies for smart space technology to enhance libraries as environments for co-working and informal social learning. The focus is on understanding user motivations, behaviour, and activities in the library when there is no programmed agenda. The study analyses gathered data over five months of ethnographic research at ‘The Edge’ – a bookless library space at the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, that is explicitly dedicated to co-working, social learning, peer collaboration, and creativity around digital culture and technology. The results present five personas that embody people’s main usage patterns as well as motivations, attitudes, and perceived barriers to social learning. It appears that most users work individually or within pre-organised groups, but usually do not make new connections with co-present, unacquainted users. Based on the personas, four hybrid design dimensions are suggested to improve the library as a social interface for shared learning encounters across physical and digital spaces. The findings in this paper offer actionable knowledge for managers, decision makers, and designers of technology-enhanced library spaces and similar collaboration and co-working spaces.

Impact and interest:

14 citations in Scopus
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4 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 58440
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Library as a Place, Technology Enhanced Learning, Library 2.0, Commons 2.0, Co-Working, Urban Informatics, Libraries, User studies, Australia, Learning
DOI: 10.1108/07378831311329040
ISSN: 0737-8831
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600) > Computer-Human Interaction (080602)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES (080700) > Library and Information Studies not elsewhere classified (080799)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Emerald Publishing Limited
Deposited On: 20 Mar 2013 01:31
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2014 15:22

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