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Exploring belonging through photovoice: examining the impact of space design on diverse student populations in an academic library

Leslie Poljak (University Library System, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)
Berenika M. Webster (University Library System, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)
Renee Kiner (University Library System, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 9 October 2023

Issue publication date: 31 October 2023

259

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to uncover characteristics of physical spaces that evoke feelings of welcome and belonging in a diverse student population in an academic library.

Design/methodology/approach

The photovoice method was used to allow research participants an active role in shaping research questions and collecting and analyzing data.

Findings

The research reveals that space design significantly influences students' feelings of physical safety, emotional well-being and safety and ownership (or sense of belonging) in academic library spaces, thereby emphasizing the importance of considering space design in promoting student well-being and inclusiveness.

Originality/value

This research used photovoice methodology to engage underrepresented student communities in providing input into the design of library spaces.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors of this paper acknowledge the essential work of the 16 student researchers, 2 student moderators and the design student in this project and reiterate the importance of their time and participation in influencing library spaces.

The authors would also like to acknowledge project team members Rachel Rubin and Diana Dill, as well as the funding and support from the University of Pittsburgh Library System.

Citation

Poljak, L., Webster, B.M. and Kiner, R. (2023), "Exploring belonging through photovoice: examining the impact of space design on diverse student populations in an academic library", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 24 No. 3/4, pp. 195-210. https://doi.org/10.1108/PMM-08-2023-0023

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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