People Interact

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

Wandering Librarian: Public Library of Valencia

IMG_20160601_190855Wandering across the Atlantic Ocean to Spain, I made a visit to the Public Library of Valencia. Housed in an early 1400’s Greek cross structured building, what was once the Hospital for the Poor Innocents became the public library in 1979. Like most libraries confined to a historic building, library usability and navigation suffers. I had a difficult time even finding the entrance and had to walk around the entire outside before I found it. Despite the flag & arch in the photo, this door is not the entrance.

IMG_20160601_191924Once I was inside, I was floored by the beauty of the building. From the 2nd floor I got a better understanding of the layout; each wing of the building is a section of the collection. Although, the lack of map or floor plan made it difficult to tell where each section was.

From a quick walk around the building I garnered that the collection was organized by the Dewey system.  The infantile (children’s section) grouped titles by series or author’s collection. The infantile section to me was the most user friendly section. A padded and cushioned nook beckoned the tiny users to make themselves comfortable. IMG_20160601_191424IMG_20160601_191410

While the library has OPAC computers, self-checkout machines & computer terminals, the library needs way more in terms of upping the user experience; say basic signage. All in all, the library does what libraries are supposed  to do (provide informational, technological services etc.) but with less flare and ambition.



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