Hybrid placemaking in the library : designing digital technology to enhance users’ on-site experience
This paper presents research findings and design strategies that illustrate how digital technology can be applied as a tool for hybrid placemaking in ways that would not be possible in purely digital or physical space. Digital technology has revolutionised the way people learn and gather new information. This trend has challenged the role of the library as a physical place, as well as the interplay of digital and physical aspects of the library. The paper provides an overview of how the penetration of digital technology into everyday life has affected the library as a place, both as designed by place makers, and, as perceived by library users. It then identifies a gap in current library research about the use of digital technology as a tool for placemaking, and reports results from a study of Gelatine – a custom built user check-in system that displays real-time user information on a set of public screens.
Gelatine and its evaluation at The Edge, at State Library of Queensland illustrates how combining affordances of social, spatial and digital space can improve the connected learning experience among on-site visitors. Future design strategies involving gamifying the user experience in libraries are described based on Gelatine’s infrastructure. The presented design ideas and concepts are relevant for managers and designers of libraries as well as other informal, social learning environments.
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