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An Infopeople Online Learning Course

April 8th, 2014 12:00 PM
May 5th, 2014 4:30 PM

Course Instructor: Ruth Barefoot 

Are you rethinking the spaces in your library? You may want to redesign or reconfigure spaces because of overcrowding, patron confusion, inadequate technology, or the need for new services. Your collections may need a more appealing look and greater visibility. You may need to provide more space for teens and tweens who pour into your library after school. If your vision of improvements exceeds the money you have available, this course is for you.

This course will help you:

  • Clarify your goals for redesigning or reconfiguring your space
  • Understand trends in service environments and programming spaces
  • Improve wayfinding in your library
  • Revitalize an area so that it functions more effectively
  • Merchandise your collections more effectively
  • Identify sources of discounted, used, and surplus materials
  • Solicit donations and find sponsorships

You'll learn about current innovations that solve persistent space challenges and about adjacency diagrams that improve functionality. Armed with an understanding of future trends in library services, you'll be able to do a redesign that will not be quickly outdated. We will share ideas for space redesign on a shoestring, with emphasis on low- or no-cost solutions and what's realistic at different price points.

Course Description: During this four-week online course the instructor will provide resources, best practices, and useful tips and techniques. In the assignment options, you will have opportunities to apply the concepts learned to low- or no-cost projects at your own library. You'll be able to listen to advice about using adjacency diagrams and changing the organization and merchandising of a collection. During the fourth week of the course, an online meeting will present a showcase of "shoestring design."

Course Outline: When you log in to the Infopeople online learning site, you will see weekly modules with these topics:

  • Week 1: Goals, Trends, and Priorities
    • Trends in service environments and how they impact library space
    • Trends in programming spaces
    • Designing programming spaces that won't be quickly outdated
    • Adjacency diagrams and how they are used
  • Week 2: Preparing and Designing
    • Affordable ways to merchandise collections
    • Preparing the environment for change and upgrade
    • Helping staff work with new ideas and environments
    • Gaining permissions, understanding the permit process, and knowing where to go for help
  • Week 3: Putting Your Plans into Place
    • What wayfinding is and what elements to include
    • Easy ways to de-clutter your entry
    • How to identify your "power wall" and enhance it
    • How to confirm that your space is ADA compliant
    • Finding local and online sources of discounted, used, and surplus furniture and materials
  • Week 4: Project Planning, Donations, and Sponsorships
    • Developing a plan for redesign or reconfiguration
    • How to identify potential donors and funders
    • Making the "ask"

Pre-course Assignment: To gain maximum benefit from this course, identify a need for redesign or reconfiguration at your library to use as a project during the course. The need can be related to merchandising a collection, to redesigning or reconfiguring a space, or to wayfinding in the building.

Time Required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 2½ hours per week, for a total of ten course hours. Each week's module contains readings and various options for assignments, discussions, or online meetings. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week's work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.

Who Should Take This Course: Library directors and managers; any library staff involved with or interested in rethinking, redesigning, and revitalizing library spaces, especially at low cost.

Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at:

Learner Requirements: Basic knowledge of Adobe Acrobat, Word or other word processing software, Excel or similar spreadsheet basics, and reasonable Internet browser speed to open free design applications.

Course Start: This online learning course starts on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.

After the official end date for the course, the instructor will be available for limited consultation and support for two more weeks, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that. These extra weeks give those who have fallen behind time to work independently to complete the course.

Keywords: Library facilities and construction, Wayfinding