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The library as place Providing students with opportunities for socialization, relaxation, and restoration

The library as place Providing students with opportunities for socialization, relaxation, and... Purpose – To provide insight and practical perspectives into the needs of university students regarding places to gather, develop community, and find restoration on the college campus. This information can be used by libraries as they seek to encourage library use by students. Design/methodology/approach – About 44 students were sent into the field to document the location and physical characteristics of the “third place.” The questionnaire and field notes recorded by the students addressed the central questions of what spaces constituted their third places, the location of those spaces, the activities in which they participated while there, the factors that contributed to their selection of those places, and the important design features of those third places. In addition, the research team observed students in library settings and interviewed library administrators. Findings – About 80 percent of students indicated that their favorite third place was off campus. These places were overwhelmingly coffee shops and restaurants. The major functions served by their third places included socialization and relaxation. Practical implications – These findings provide insight into the way students now study, research, and communicate. Libraries can use this information as they design spaces that encourage students to come to the library to study, as well as socialize, converse, find restoration, and simply “hang out.” Originality/value – The paper brings together practical information from an interdisciplinary team that can aid libraries interested in renovating spaces to accommodate students of the twenty‐first century. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png New Library World Emerald Publishing

The library as place Providing students with opportunities for socialization, relaxation, and restoration

New Library World , Volume 108 (9/10): 11 – Sep 18, 2007

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0307-4803
DOI
10.1108/03074800710823953
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – To provide insight and practical perspectives into the needs of university students regarding places to gather, develop community, and find restoration on the college campus. This information can be used by libraries as they seek to encourage library use by students. Design/methodology/approach – About 44 students were sent into the field to document the location and physical characteristics of the “third place.” The questionnaire and field notes recorded by the students addressed the central questions of what spaces constituted their third places, the location of those spaces, the activities in which they participated while there, the factors that contributed to their selection of those places, and the important design features of those third places. In addition, the research team observed students in library settings and interviewed library administrators. Findings – About 80 percent of students indicated that their favorite third place was off campus. These places were overwhelmingly coffee shops and restaurants. The major functions served by their third places included socialization and relaxation. Practical implications – These findings provide insight into the way students now study, research, and communicate. Libraries can use this information as they design spaces that encourage students to come to the library to study, as well as socialize, converse, find restoration, and simply “hang out.” Originality/value – The paper brings together practical information from an interdisciplinary team that can aid libraries interested in renovating spaces to accommodate students of the twenty‐first century.

Journal

New Library WorldEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 18, 2007

Keywords: Academic libraries; Physical planning; Space utilization; Library users; Students; United States of America

References