Remodeling library for the 21st century – a fabulous ending to 2019!
We worked over a six month period in Fairbanks and got to know the city by travelling there, talking to many people in the community about their needs and wants for the library, and working with our amazing librarian colleagues. We summarized our findings in 125-pages which includes additional links to substantial appendices as well. Did you know that Alaska is five hours behind the east coast time zone? And, how do you think it feels to live in a place where 24 hours is light in the summer and almost as many hours is dark in the winter? Did you know that traveling to Alaska in the winter is a big attraction for Asian tourists who are captured by the aurora borealis views? Did you even know that pictures of my dad’s village and family members from Galanovrisi are found on the walls of the Greek restaurant, Bobby’s downtown, in Fairbanks? My future plan includes a trip to Alaska during the winter season to experience the aurora borealis light! And, if you are not sure where Santa lives – Finland? Canada? Alaska? One of Santa’s homes is North Pole, Alaska! Working on new building designs and library renovations is an exciting area for QualityMetrics. We have studied library facilities in the past and made meaningful contributions in understanding the impact library spaces on communities. Our recent research and assessment is moving us at the heart of infrastructure projects making a difference on the ground for every community we work with! We deal with both the organizational and planning challenges and we can provide recommendations on adjacencies and design choices collaborating with our architectural firm partners. This past year we partnered with G4/HMC/brightspot/QualityMetrics for the planning and program delivery for the new building Chabot College in CA is designing. We are continuing to partner with these colleagues for yet another new building in another community college in CA this year! We are truly excited to be making a difference at one of the largest higher education institutions in the world. The California Community Colleges serve 2.1 million students and represent one of the largest student bodies. Community colleges serve important roles in providing job skills, supporting recreational interests, and providing an affordable gateway to four year college degrees. Supporting modern library services in these environments is critical — the community members are often first generation students with limited access to resources; discovering that library resources and services are readily available to them is a life-changing experience! We also offered our popular NISO webinar series again this year featuring 8 webinars on Assessment Practices and Metrics for the 21st Century: A 2019 NISO Training Series. Two of the webinars focused on space planning (slides for all of them available on the NISO website). The other six webinars focusing respectively on collections, services, and strategic innovations! Thanks for our colleague presenters who contributed to this series: Elliot Felix, Pedro Reynoso, Galadriel Chilton, Trevor Dawes, Erin Daix, Joe Zucca, Heidi Nance, Lisa Hinchliffe, Clara Chu, and Merinda Kaye Hensley! As we close the decade, I reflect on where I were ten years ago – finishing my dissertation in 2009 on LibQUAL+, a survey that has been used by more than 1,400 libraries across the globe and spearheaded many badly needed renovations and infrastructure projects for libraries by benchmarking the Library As Place. We opened our thinking to welcoming the voices of the library users in shaping our environments. Establishing QualityMetrics in 2016 allowed me to work more closely with libraries and make an impact with our library consulting services for four years now. Seeing the impact of our work on the ground is gratifying! We have more exciting things coming in 2020! QualityMetrics is committed to continuing to help libraries improve their spaces, their services, their collections, and maximize the impact of the efforts our library colleagues are making day in and day out! Libraries transform communities and QualityMetrics transforms Libraries in service to their communities by listening, engaging, sharing, and co-creating! QualityMetrics is looking forward to working with many of you in the coming year!