Erin Dorney

Blogging life & librarianship

Posts Tagged ‘spaces

Student Learning Commons at Lancaster Bible College

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A few weeks ago I had the chance to visit the Charles & Gloria Jones Library, located in the Student Learning Commons at Lancaster Bible College. They just built a new facility and used the same vendor we’re using for our library renovation, so we were interested in seeing some of the furniture in action. It’s a truly amazing space—definitely recommend checking it out if you’re in the area. Despite my people-less photos, the library was packed with students the whole time we were walking through. Thanks to Lancaster Bible College for the tour and to Supply Source for lunch!

Row (left / right)

  1. Great use of curves to create unique spaces / High-tech collaboration station
  2. Out of the box room sign / Out of the box interior space for fun & inspiration
  3. Recycled pallet book displays! / Donor wall with modified card catalog & vinyl decals
  4. Clear signage (be still my heart) / The little details (basket) = all kinds of yes
  5. Items for sale in open stacks / Projected images on the wall behind the research help desk

LBC curved windowLBC collaboration stationLBC out of the box room

LBC red roomLBC palletsLBC donor wall

LBC signageLBC details

LBC sale itemsLBC help desk

Written by Erin Dorney

October 12, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Guest Post @ In the Library with the Lead Pipe

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I have a co-authored guest post up at In the Library with the Lead Pipe on renovations as a catalyst for change.

Lead Pipe posts full-length, peer-reviewed articles relating to libraries and is edited by a phenomenal team of leaders. I’ve added them to my Blogs I ❤ page and you should subscribe to their RSS feed ASAP!

Many thanks to my co-author Eric Frierson for inviting me to collaborate on the post and to Melissa Gold, Hilary Davis, Leigh Anne Vrabel, Ellie Collier, and Emily Ford for their review and edits.

Sidenote: This week continues to get better and better – I won a $50 gift certificate to use at the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen Fine Craft Fair this weekend and I found out that the Computers in Libraries proposal that my colleagues and I submitted was accepted for the conference! Helllloooo cherry blossoms in March! Any tips for a CiL newbie?

Written by Erin Dorney

November 10, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Tales from the trade show floor: NeoCon East

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On Wednesday I had the chance to attend NeoCon East, the “Premier Design Exposition for Commercial Interiors on the East Coast” in Baltimore, MD. I had fun checking out options for the library renovation, seeing design-y things, and experiencing my first non-library exhibit hall. Below are some observations and a few of my favorite things.

Library exhibit hall vs. design expo

  • There were definitely more men at NeoCon than I’ve seen at ALA/library conferences. The age demographic there seemed to skew younger as well (although I’m not awesome at guessing ages). Most booths had both male and female representatives available to talk to customers and walk them through the floor.
  • I almost hesitate to say this because I don’t want to offend anyone, but the NeoCon attendees were dressed a lot nicer than people I have seen at ALA/library conferences. I am generalizing here (on both sides) but I picked up on it right away. Maybe the designers/design students at NeoCon are more concerned with their visual aesthetic than librarians. There were also a hell of a lot more women in stilettos and other fancy shoes. Lots of suits. Lots of black.
  • At four PM, free booze magically appeared. Everywhere! I saw a keg on the exhibit hall floor and multiple tables of bottled beer and wine. I got carded (what the what!) when I grabbed a glass. It was pretty cool – once people started drinking, everyone was sitting in the different pieces of furniture talking and hanging out. It was almost like the “sales pitch” was over and everyone was just having a good time. You could really tell which seating options worked for social atmospheres – those were the ones people gravitated towards.
  • The NeoCon swag was pretty similar to ALA/library conferences. Lots of exhibitors had freebies – tote bags galore, stress balls, plastic watches, iPad covers, pens, candy, lip balm, etc. I didn’t see as many crazed people running around collecting ten of everything. People seemed a bit more reserved. That said, the one giveaway I really did want (a sweet canvas Herman Miller bag) ran out before I could get one. Luckily, our HM rep is awesome and is going to mail me one!

These are a few of my favorite things

Integra Bay Chair
Integra Bay Chair – My colleagues and I loved this seating option. It comes in 4 different seat widths and the tablet arm holds 300 pounds (their promo materials show someone standing on it!). You can add upholstered or wood arms, but I enjoyed the armless version. It’s fairly easy to push around and the cup holder feature is nice because it doesn’t eat up your limited tablet space (plus, you won’t accidentally knock your coffee over onto your laptop). I also really like the contrasting fabrics in this floor model. The pattern and solid combination seems to highlight the shape and accentuate the curves in this more fluid/free-form chair. I can see us incorporating some of these throughout our new library to offer a diversity of seating options for students. Maybe in bright accent colors?

Kimball Fit ChairErin in Kimball Fit Chair - this is love, people

Kimball Fit – Oh. My. Last week I was reviewing the furniture drawings for my workspace in the new library and our furniture supplier showed me the Kimball Fit “sling lounge” as a potential option (we also looked at the Herman Miller Tato, Tatino, Tatone and the Fatboy original beanbag). I’m looking for some fun pieces to use in my co-working space for creative group brainstorming sessions with library student employees/staff. I was really looking forward to testing a Fit at NeoCon and was getting bummed out as we walked through and didn’t see any. Then, at the same time, my colleague Greg and I spotted three of them. We pointed, looked at each other with glee, and headed over to test them out. You can probably tell from the huge smile on my face – I loved it! It was awkward sitting down the first time because you’re not quite sure it will hold you, but the material is stretchy and supportive. It feels almost like you are settling back into a hammock, really fun. Lightweight, can nest together for storage, and as we were leaving, we even saw two people sitting in one together! They do have a larger footprint, but I certainly think I could squeeze one of these into my new workspace!

Leland Ebb BenchLeland Brit Bench

Leland International – This was a really fun booth and I saw two of my favorite pieces there, the Ebb Bench (hollow) and the Brit Bench (blue). You can use connectors for both of them to hook up multiple pieces in different shapes, but I honestly liked them both as single, standalone pieces. The Ebb bench is very minimalist and modern. It would be great for hallways and the representative said they have done some in airports (although then they have to cap the ends). You can get it entirely upholstered, in wood veneer, or in wood veneer with upholstered “pads” (my fav). I was thinking this would work well in the new juvenile/curriculum center section, although we might have an issue with small children trying to climb inside. The Brit bench was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I think it would be perfect for the library entryway, where we are putting in a media wall with digital signage and inspirational quotes. This type of sculptural bench doesn’t lend itself to long waits, which is fine because it will be somewhat drafty in the entryway. At the same time, it provides a perfect spot to rest with your bags to meet someone before heading into the library. I love the three “prongs” too, it gives the bench a more social feel because you’re facing someone else any way you sit on it.

izzy+ Dewey 6-Top Table

izzy+ Dewey 6-Top Table – I mean, it’s a whiteboard-topped table, what more can I say? Awesome.

I took a bunch of other photos at the show which you can see on my Flickr page. Leave a comment here or there and let me know which items you love, hate, could envision in libraries. Have any of you been to a trade show/exhibit floor beyond library conferences? Did you enjoy it? What was different and what was similar?

* A big thanks to Supply Source for inviting us to and escorting us around NeoCon!*

Written by Erin Dorney

November 5, 2011 at 11:04 PM

Last glance at the old Ganser Library

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Took a few minutes on Thursday to do a walk through of our old library building before we hand it off to the contractors. All of the people, furniture, books, blinds, shelving and signage are gone. Pay particular attention to the image on the middle left – look at those power pop ups. This is our new reality – we need power and we need it everywhere. Plan ahead! Let the renovations begin!

Written by Erin Dorney

October 21, 2011 at 1:11 PM

ACRLog guest post

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I have a guest post over at ACRLog today, so check it out if you have a few minutes! I decided to talk about our upcoming renovation project since it’s the thing I’ve been spending the majority of my time on at work lately. As outreach librarian I have been coordinating lots of communication about the project (including its spot in the University Soar to Greatness campaign) as well as the transition and design planning.

My thanks to Richard James (@DElibrarian), Jason Dean (of The Dean Files), and Lindsey Main (@librarianlinz) for offering valuable feedback on a draft of the guest post.

Written by Erin Dorney

December 8, 2010 at 10:43 AM

PaLA 2009 – Monday.

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9-10:15 – Putting the Wow in to Your Library Using Nonverbal and Merchandising Principles (Larry Nesbit, Library Building Consultant, Mansfield University, retired, Joyce Seno, Architect, Larson Design Group Julie Brown, Furniture Representative, Brodart Co.)

Architectural vision vs a library vision

Did a similar presentation 6 years ago at PaLA – not much information has remained the same

A successful library needs to come from the user’s perspective – not the librarians!

A square foot costs about $200.00 when all is said and done, so you need to utilize space wisely

We need to integrate computers into virtually every space in the building

Nonverbal communication is culturally specific

70% of what we communicate is nonverbal

Example: Wegmans ceramic tile  flooring in the produce section – why do they use this particular material? (because the tiles and grouting rattles the carts, causing consumers to slow down and buy more produce)

People want a safe, comfortable environment with social opportunities

Example: Cabela’s has few retail stores, in person it is the “ultimate experience”

Think about how big store entrances are in the mall – more welcoming and inviting

Vestibule – costly from a square footage perspective – try a wall display case or bench

When you walk into a library, you usually see Circulation and that’s it. When you walk into a bookstore, you see books (check out isn’t front and center).

Companies spend lots of money on market research – we don’t have that level of funding but we can use their findings and learn from what they do.

Brodart will be introducing mobile checkout units within the next year

Displays – libraries have a tendency to put too much out which defeats the purpose. People won’t browse if it looks too crowded.

Aisle space – 5 feet – “butt brushing” If a person feels uncomfortable, they will leave the area.

Make a statement, don’t just fill the space – Joyce Seno

Think about privacy for computers, specifically in information commons. Tell your students you want them to stay, not just use the computers and move on. Territory and space. Don’t put computers in an aisle (jostling and no privacy).

Seating – “A chair says we care” quote read by Julie Brown. Put chairs next to windows.

People want to be seen but not disturbed.

Borders recently announced that they are taking shelving out of their stores in order to make room for teen spaces.

Book stacks – “the forgotten zone” – Every 3 foot section of shelving costs $3,600. Use is key. Carve out spaces in stacks for seating areas. Stagger/slant shelves, use browsing units (the more people can touch, the more likely they are to take it with them). Open it up, use shelving of different heights. It’s not just a storage area.

Administrative zone – Internal spaces are important as well. You need to be comfortable in order to do your job well.

10:30-11:45 – PALS: PaLA Academy of Leadership Studies (2009 PALS graduates: Calida Barboza, King’s College, Lisa Galico, Juniata County Library, Sharon Helfrich, Andrew Bayne Memorial Library, Mike Packard, Pottstown Public Library, Paul Proces, Delaware County Community College, Heather Simoneau, Lehigh University, Jennifer Worley, Dauphin County Library System)

Initially planned on doing this every other year, but because of overwhelmingly positive response, will be doing it each year (as long as funding allows).

This was a two way street, PaLA has learned a lot from new professionals regarding the future of the association.

Most of the 2009 PALS participants were nominated and sponsored (cost $500/$600).

Complaints about the program – too busy (nonstop events/sessions), make nomination process easier (are working on this for 2010).

Q: Doing things differently because of PALS? Paul – Before PALS I was a nominal ALA/PaLA member, now I’m involved with up to 6-ish committees. Calida – Afterwords, I felt more comfortable/empowered to bring issues up at my home institution.

2:30-3:30 – iPrimer: Using the iPod Touch and iPhone in Library Reference and Education (Corrine Syster, Instructional & Information Technology Librarian, Central Pennsylvania College, Misti Smith, MLS Technology Literacy Specialist, Mount Aloysius College)

Ages 13 through 24 = half of iphone users

Cost of an 8-gb iPhone w/data plan and fees for the first two years is about $2,000.00 (this is why I don’t have one yet… damn student loans…)

iTouch is more affordable ($199.00 one-time fee for 8-gb)

Academic applications:

* Clicker/student-response systems (i.e. Turning Point ResponseWare)

* Course management systems (i.e. Blackboard Learn, Mobile Moodle)

* E-texts (i.e. Kindle App, CourseSmart)

Abilene Christian University – research showed clear impact on student engagement (w/ iPod Touch or iPhone)

University of Missouri School of Journalism – requires incoming students to have an iPhone

Standford’s free iPhone programming class has been accessed over 1 million times

iTunes U – Libraries can put tutorials here even if they don’t have iPhone/iPods

Apps to help students – iHomework, Evernote, MiGhtyDocs (helps teach time management & organizational skills)

Q: Copyright issues? Most applications handle their own copyright.

Q: App fees – are they one time or subscription? Typically one time fee. If you delete it, you can put it back on for free as long as you have synced it on your computer.

Q: How do I get Camtasia tutorials from the library website to a platform like this? You can just upload it (may have to reformat into Quicktime) to iTunes.

Written by Erin Dorney

October 19, 2009 at 6:41 PM

Ohio & King Library.

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I’ve been in Ohio for the past few days visiting a friend from college who is teaching and working on her MA in English at Miami University (OH, not FL). Fall has struck hard here and the leaves are perfect. Yesterday I had a chance to visit King Library, the main library on campus. Ho-ly-cow. It’s beautiful!! Wonderful facilities, great interior design, and an excellent variety of spaces.

  • Clear, clean and creative signage. I was very impressed with their stacks signage, something that I’ve been thinking about lately with our upcoming renovation at Millersville. The large sign above the Circulation desk was also really well done, with all of their major services available at that desk listed (Reserves – Laptops – Study Rooms – Check Outs). I didn’t see any 8.5″ x 11″ pieces of paper stuck up with tape. Most signs were of high quality (engraved/etched) and anything that was printed seemed to be laminated or in a clear plastic holder.
  • Natural accents. I also noticed that they used a lot of natural wood, for shelf end-caps, tables, etc. It really does a lot to brighten the place up compared to darker woods. They also utilized natural lighting which makes everything more inviting, and lots of strategically placed plants.
  • Functional, appealing furniture. Instead of placing book carts around the stacks for books students are done with, they have small tables. It looks really classy! And it can’t be that much more work, because the staff can just push a cart around and collect the items instead of grabbing all those carts. It looks clean and cute, and you could probably get similar ones from Ikea (and cheap!). I loved all the curvy s-shaped couches – with footstools! The footstools are key, having them makes it soo much more comfy, especially with a computer on your lap. Another great idea was to outfit most of the large walls with an artwork hanging system. You may have seen a system like this in place at art galleries or in museums. It looks like a strip across the wall and then you hang framed artwork on thin wires. It’s great because you can do so much with it without being tied to banging nails into the walls (virtually ruining them and locking you into the same location every time even if you change the pieces). This might not seem clear, but I included a picture below. Great example of flexible design!

So the moral of the story is that even though I don’t go to this university, even though I didn’t even look at their collection of books or online resources, even though I didn’t use any of their services or ask any questions, I had a great experience there.The look and feel alone were enough to make me want to be in that building for coffee, to hang out, and to do my work (I was there for about 4 hours using their guest wireless which had no connectivity issues, was unlimited, didn’t require me to log in, and worked seamlessly with my Mac). Because I felt so comfortable with the surroundings, I would certainly feel confident approaching a service point with questions or if I needed help. Although I could have probably experienced similar spaces on campus with the same look and feel, the library should (and in this case does) have more investment in creating positive spaces. Why? Because if students feel comfortable there, if the space is meeting all of their needs, that confidence will spill over into their interactions with librarians as well as information. Creating a more beneficial experience for everyone, no?

Circulation desk sign (too large the fit the entire sign in the shot!)

Circulation desk sign (too large the fit the entire sign in the shot!)

S-shaped couches and footstools in beige, blueish green & purple

S-shaped couches and footstools in beige, blueish green & purple

Close up of the first floor directory

Close up of the first floor directory


Book return tables - natural wood

Book return tables - natural wood

Library directory signage - colorful & visible

Library directory signage - colorful & visible

"How call numbers work" signage - great!

"How call numbers work" signage - great!

Restroom sign - love that they include the nearest accessible restroom

Love that they include the nearest accessible restroom

Second floor directory and emergency plan

Second floor directory and emergency plan

Hanging system with art print

Hanging system with art print

Self check out machine with Information desk in the background

Self check out machine with Information desk in the background

Stacks end-cap - natural wood, clear, visible signage & an overview of what's there

Stacks end-cap - natural wood, clear, visible signage & an overview of what's there

Written by Erin Dorney

October 13, 2009 at 2:30 AM

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