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Reading, writing, and … running? Assessing active space in libraries

Reading, writing, and … running? Assessing active space in libraries The University of Tennessee Knoxville’s Libraries has set aside space and stocked it with treadmill desks, standing desks, cycling desks and balance chairs to encourage physical activity while using library space to promote active learning. The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of this innovative space on library users through a study conducted by a research team using observations and short surveys to gather information about usage trends and user perceptions of this “active learning space.”Design/methodology/approachThis study used both ethnographish observation and self-selected survey. Researcher observation notes were used to gather usage rates of the space and equipment in the space, and survey responses were coded for themes to identify user perceptions around the space.FindingsThe findings strongly suggest that users find mental and physical health value in the “active learning space” and many would find value in the expansion and improvement of the space.Research limitations/implicationsThe limitations of this study include a shorter observation period compared to the survey collection period and limited demographic collection to shorten the survey instrument.Originality/valueHowever, this study was able to assess how an active learning space in an academic library can influence and have a significant impact on student success. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Performance Measurement and Metrics Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1467-8047
DOI
10.1108/pmm-03-2018-0011
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The University of Tennessee Knoxville’s Libraries has set aside space and stocked it with treadmill desks, standing desks, cycling desks and balance chairs to encourage physical activity while using library space to promote active learning. The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of this innovative space on library users through a study conducted by a research team using observations and short surveys to gather information about usage trends and user perceptions of this “active learning space.”Design/methodology/approachThis study used both ethnographish observation and self-selected survey. Researcher observation notes were used to gather usage rates of the space and equipment in the space, and survey responses were coded for themes to identify user perceptions around the space.FindingsThe findings strongly suggest that users find mental and physical health value in the “active learning space” and many would find value in the expansion and improvement of the space.Research limitations/implicationsThe limitations of this study include a shorter observation period compared to the survey collection period and limited demographic collection to shorten the survey instrument.Originality/valueHowever, this study was able to assess how an active learning space in an academic library can influence and have a significant impact on student success.

Journal

Performance Measurement and MetricsEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 18, 2018

Keywords: Academic libraries; Library assessment; Student success; Active workstations; Space assessment; Student wellness

References