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Reading, writing, and … running? Assessing active space in libraries

Kristina A. Clement (Department of Information Sciences, University of Tennessee Knoxille, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)
Sian Carr (Department of Information Sciences, University of Tennessee Knoxille, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)
Lauren Johnson (Department of Information Sciences, University of Tennessee Knoxille, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)
Alexa Carter (Department of Information Sciences, University of Tennessee Knoxille, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)
Brianne Ramsay Dosch (Department of Information Sciences, University of Tennessee Knoxille, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)
Jordan Kaufman (Department of Information Sciences, University of Tennessee Knoxille, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)
Rachel Fleming-May (Department of Information Sciences, University of Tennessee Knoxille, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)
Regina Mays (University Libraries, University of Tennessee Knoxille, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)
Teresa Walker (University Libraries, University of Tennessee Knoxille, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 21 August 2018

Issue publication date: 18 October 2018

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829

Abstract

Purpose

The University of Tennessee Knoxville’s Libraries has set aside space and stocked it with treadmill desks, standing desks, cycling desks and balance chairs to encourage physical activity while using library space to promote active learning. The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of this innovative space on library users through a study conducted by a research team using observations and short surveys to gather information about usage trends and user perceptions of this “active learning space.”

Design/methodology/approach

This study used both ethnographish observation and self-selected survey. Researcher observation notes were used to gather usage rates of the space and equipment in the space, and survey responses were coded for themes to identify user perceptions around the space.

Findings

The findings strongly suggest that users find mental and physical health value in the “active learning space” and many would find value in the expansion and improvement of the space.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this study include a shorter observation period compared to the survey collection period and limited demographic collection to shorten the survey instrument.

Originality/value

However, this study was able to assess how an active learning space in an academic library can influence and have a significant impact on student success.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research project is a component of the IMLS-funded Experience-Assessment (UX-A) cohort. UX-A leverages an interdisciplinary team and robust facilities to provide education and experience to future leaders in library assessment and user experience testing at the University of Tennessee.

Citation

Clement, K.A., Carr, S., Johnson, L., Carter, A., Dosch, B.R., Kaufman, J., Fleming-May, R., Mays, R. and Walker, T. (2018), "Reading, writing, and … running? Assessing active space in libraries", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 166-175. https://doi.org/10.1108/PMM-03-2018-0011

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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