Engaging Design: Creating Libraries for Modern Users

Decker, Emy Nelson & . Libraries Unlimited: Teacher Ideas. 2018. 180p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781440856129. pap. $70; ebk. ISBN 9781440856136. PRO MEDIA
The focus on user experience within libraries has expanded from simplifying access to services to rethinking the design of physical and digital spaces. Decker (NextGen public svcs. manager, Georgia Tech. Lib.; coeditor, Handbook of Research on Disaster Management and Contingency Planning in Modern Libraries) and Porter (Stokes Lib., Woodrow Wilson Sch. of Public and International Affairs, Princeton Univ.) call this "engaging design." They posit that by taking a holistic approach to design, libraries can enhance user experience and encourage lifelong learning. The authors follow a fictional librarian's journey through the renovation of a university library. Decker and Porter define good design and discuss how to incorporate it into interior and exterior spaces, websites, and in-person and online instructional technology and programs. They also emphasize creating spaces and programs that are accessible to people with special needs. However, while this is a good literature review on design principles and pedagogical e-learning, the lack of real-life examples and paucity of illustrations prevent it from being as practical a tool for librarians and administrators as the authors claim.
VERDICT An additional purchase for librarians curious about library design.

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