A Miami University visitor blogged about her recent experience in King Library on her blog, Library Scenester. An excerpt:
I’ve been in Ohio for the past few days visiting a friend from college who is teaching and working on her MA in English at Miami University (OH, not FL). Fall has struck hard here and the leaves are perfect. Yesterday I had a chance to visit King Library, the main library on campus. Ho-ly-cow. It’s beautiful!! Wonderful facilities, great interior design, and an excellent variety of spaces.
* Clear, clean and creative signage. I was very impressed with their stacks signage, something that I’ve been thinking about lately with our upcoming renovation at Millersville. The large sign above the Circulation desk was also really well done, with all of their major services available at that desk listed (Reserves – Laptops – Study Rooms – Check Outs). I didn’t see any 8.5″ x 11″ pieces of paper stuck up with tape. Most signs were of high quality (engraved/etched) and anything that was printed seemed to be laminated or in a clear plastic holder.
* Natural accents. I also noticed that they used a lot of natural wood, for shelf end-caps, tables, etc. It really does a lot to brighten the place up compared to darker woods. They also utilized natural lighting which makes everything more inviting, and lots of strategically placed plants.
* Functional, appealing furniture. Instead of placing book carts around the stacks for books students are done with, they have small tables. It looks really classy! And it can’t be that much more work, because the staff can just push a cart around and collect the items instead of grabbing all those carts. It looks clean and cute, and you could probably get similar ones from Ikea (and cheap!). I loved all the curvy s-shaped couches – with footstools! The footstools are key, having them makes it soo much more comfy, especially with a computer on your lap.
Because I felt so comfortable with the surroundings, I would certainly feel confident approaching a service point with questions or if I needed help. Although I could have probably experienced similar spaces on campus with the same look and feel, the library should (and in this case does) have more investment in creating positive spaces. Why? Because if students feel comfortable there, if the space is meeting all of their needs, that confidence will spill over into their interactions with librarians as well as information. Creating a more beneficial experience for everyone, no?
To read the entire post, with pictures visit the Library Scenester: