Elementary school libraries are no longer spaces where books are stored and read. They are becoming or have become vibrant spaces hosting many activities fostering discovery, knowledge acquisition, expression and exchange. This paper aims at the development of an assessment methodology for such spaces from the perspective of all stakeholders including architects. The evaluation of their performance is essential to define their design criteria to improve their design and construction. The development of such methodology may provide a framework to obtain subjective and objective data of such facilities. The spatial data concerning elementary school libraries, collected through the instrument, is organized as ‘Obtainable’ and ‘Observable’. Obtainable data are gathered from publicly available sources and by requesting the library personnel. Observable data is collected under the categories of ‘Form and Environment’, ‘People’ and ‘Activities’. The objective of this assessment instrument is the collection of spatial and related data that would eventually allow an evaluation. The library space is to be assessed as a place where learning is facilitated and how the space contributes to it. The assessment instrument has been applied to elementary school libraries of Independent School District in Texas to test its validity. Early indications from testing the efficacy of the assessment instrument show that libraries are lively social spaces. The outcomes are indicative of the direction regarding the design of such spaces in these times.
Rohit Kumar, Texas A&M University, United States
Stream: Learner Experience Design
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