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Participatory action research in learning commons design planning

By Margaret Brown-sica, Karen Sobel and Erika Rogers


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to document the process the Auraria Library went through to plan research methods to produce information for their learning commons project. Design/methodology/approach – The paper provides an overview and the results of one library’s planning methods using user-centered and participatory action research (PAR) principles. It includes a literature review and data gathered from several information gathering sessions. It also discusses useful resources and ideologies found outside the field of library science, such as “placemaking ” and the concept of “third place.” Findings – Adopting values that honor user-centered, evidence-based decision making is a change that must include the whole library, as well as its users. When enough time is spent to include a broad spectrum of feedback you can get a lot of valuable evidence, even during a planning period. Originality/value – The paper could be useful to libraries who are examining their services, environment, and technology. It is of interest to libraries that want to use user-centered design and PAR in their work

Topics: Academic libraries, Library services, Learning, United States of America
Year: 2012
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