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Evaluating the impact of learning space

Bryony Ramsden (Computing and Library Services, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 16 August 2011




The purpose of this paper is to find a method to analyse the impact of learning space on learning behaviour and, in particular, learning support, using the context of a university library.


A method was created based partially on pre‐/post‐occupancy evaluation methods used in other institutions, and partially on methods utilised by the library on other occasions, gathering qualitative and quantitative data from staff observations, desk enquiries and student use. The method was tested at the University of Huddersfield Library and Computing Centre following extensive refurbishment.


The method overall was deemed successful, but was problematic due to lack of student engagement.

Research limitations/implications

Research was conducted at one university only, so can be considered either a starting point for further research, or as a toolkit for other universities to utilize.

Practical implications

Ensuring full understanding and engagement of students via academics would increase potential of the method for understanding learning behaviours and utilisation of the library.


The paper assesses what impact library usage and potentially newly observed learning behaviours made on library staff.



Ramsden, B. (2011), "Evaluating the impact of learning space", Reference Services Review, Vol. 39 No. 3, pp. 451-464.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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