The beginning

DOK (Delft concept library). For more images of library check - http://www.flickr.com/photos/39841872@N00/

From my first meeting with Geert at the DOK where i presented to him some project proposals, we have shortlisted the ‘C0- library’.  Based on previous studies, we know we are riding the right bus going in the right direction.  Most of the websites where people talk about better access to library either deals with longer (and weekend) opening hours for the library or a web presence which leads on to the library content.

But, the way we are trying to think of it is a tangible/ physical dislocation of the library. Imagine it as tiny portals spread across the city interconnected and beaming data to the mother ship (the main library building).

So here is the latest proposal i presented to the supervisory commitee:

  1. INTRODUCTION

The DOK, Library concept centre in Delft is one of the visionary libraries in the Netherlands. The DOK is well aware that the traditional functions of a libraries like research, education, repositories of culture (memories) are expanding to include new content ( ebooks, audio books, multimedia), interactions (gaming, ambient media, participatory activities) and functions (entertainment, digitisation, personalisation, social interaction, creativity).

From the point of the users, the traditional library organization is based upon a logical taxonomy: where the major problem is locating the desired item out of context. The approach it needs to take however is context-centric – The library needs to be there when and where the user wants to access it. Alternative delivery models are being increasingly introduced for better accessibility and public participation. Research in UK libraries shows that over 80% of library services already operate a procurement partnership; over 60% are co-located with another service and over 30% have developed shared services.

As a communal institution DOK also wants to communicate the values of communal integration, social exchange and personal development.

  1. PROBLEM DEFINITION

The problem from the libraries perspective is the mismatch between the information, usage and context (access, location, timings) specific needs of the users. The basic question to ask is – How can we widen usage and make libraries more accessible to the public?

The problem area is further focused on alternative delivery models pertaining to co-location of library facilities with other public services, schools and colleges or private business.

To summarise: The problem is to find out, when is co-location successful and what user interaction factors come into play in designing co-location library facilities? Also, to assess what the future library would look like.

Additional challenges to the library’s interaction values include:

–          For it to come across more prominently as a local communal institution; supporting the development of social networks and relationships.

–     Delivering the appropriate user experience in view of its traditional tangible values (slow burn gratification) vs. digitization (instant gratification).

3. ASSIGNMENT (Decentralised library touch point)

The assignment is to design a product service for the library that acts as a decentralized touch point, fitting to co-location considerations & user needs. And for it to come across more prominently as a local communal institution; supporting the development of social networks and relationships.

The product-service’s primary target group is people in the age group of 19 to 35yrs (the most active in e-networking).  In locations like restaurants, clubs, cafes, schools for the practical reasons of possible private partnership, controlled use, protection and a social atmosphere.

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