People Interact

Blog about people-centered design by Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas.

NYPL is Reimagining the Library for the Future, But Are They Evaluating the Library of the Present?

NYPL LogoNew York Public Library (NYPL) is reimagining the library for the future by sharing their plan and getting feedback from patrons. It’s a good start, but we wonder if they are also studying how patrons are currently using the library.

On their website, NYPL stated that “We’ve gathered information on what we do well, what we need to improve, and, looking ahead, on patrons’ priorities for both our neighborhood libraries and our landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.” How did NYPL gather this information?

Surveys and interviews are two commonly used methods. There are other relevant methods such as fly on the wall observation and error analysis, and when combined with surveys and interviews, you can learn so much more — not just the need or desire for more computers and quiet areas, but also ideas as to where to put the computers and quiet areas.

This also makes us wonder: If and how are other libraries gathering information and evaluating their library services and programs?

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