September 20, 2016

SC/MLA Annual Meeting: Sneak Peak of the Poster Presentation, "Designing Library Spaces"

This week, we are offering you a glimpse of the poster, “Designing Library Spaces: Creating the “Right Sized” Library to meet the needs of many different users” by Kim Meeks, AHIP, MLIS, Carolyn Klatt, MLIS, and Wanda Thomas, MLIS, from Mercer University School of Medicine Library. 

In March of this year, the Mercer School of Medicine Health Sciences Library in Savannah moved to a new space.  For eight years, the library could be found housed in an old auditorium which offered an ample amount of space for books and other library collections, but lacked ideal study areas and optimum opportunities for students to communicate with staff.

The new space at approximately 2,700 square feet, smaller than the previously used auditorium, required a tremendous amount of downsizing.  As titles were moved online so that they could be accessed 24/7 from any location, the library staff drastically weeded the print collection and moved to the much reduced space with approximately 1,247 print titles.

In order to keep the area more open, a book nook was created instead of traditional shelving.  Library staff members occupy offices with windows that face out into the main area of the library, so that they can always be easily accessible to their patrons.

In the planning stages for the new library, the former Dean of the Savannah campus, Dr. Phillip Malan, stated that he wanted the library to be less about study space and more about interactions between the patrons and librarians.  Students love the new library, and frequent it more now than when the library was in its previous location.

The small space does provide areas for a reading, independent study, and consultations with library staff.  There is also a small conference room that can be reserved for group study. Ample 24-hour study space is available throughout the building, outside of the library, and students seem to enjoy the variety of study-space locations.  Incorporating so many options for students into one area was challenging, but the final outcome worked out wonderfully well for all involved.

To find out more about this project, please stop by to see our poster, “Designing Library Spaces: Creating the “Right Sized” Library to meet the needs of many different users,” on October 4th in the Poinsett room.    

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