Planning library spaces and services for Millennials: an evidence‐based approach

EunYoung Yoo‐Lee (School of Library and Information Sciences, North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina, USA)
Tae Heon Lee (School of Business, North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina, USA)
LaTesha Velez (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Champaign, Illinois, USA)

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124

Publication date: 9 August 2013



The purpose of this paper is to examine undergraduates' perception and use of two distinct library spaces – social and communal – in an academic library in order to provide more customized services.


A survey was conducted at D.H. Hill Library at North Carolina State University, including structured questions on perceptions and use of the library, perceptions of library layout and design, and respondent demographics, as well as open questions on the advantages and disadvantages of social and communal spaces.


Undergraduates frequently use the physical library. Their usage patterns mirror common characteristics of Generation Y by going there mostly on weekday nights, with friends or in a group. Both communal and social spaces appear to be well‐used for many different activities ranging from solitary academic work to technology‐driven collaborative work and socializing. Some demographic variables, such as ethnicity and gender, are found to affect aspects of perception and use. For example, African American and Asian students tend to engage in activities that involve library technology, tools and resources, while White students simply use the spaces. Despite their excitement and appreciation of the social spaces in the library, students consider the quiet communal spaces integral to their experience of the library and stress the need of quiet space for academic work.


This is one of a few systematic empirical studies on end‐users' use of library space.



Yoo‐Lee, E., Heon Lee, T. and Velez, L. (2013), "Planning library spaces and services for Millennials: an evidence‐based approach", Library Management, Vol. 34 No. 6/7, pp. 498-511.

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