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Sacred or Secular? How Student Perceptions May Guide Library Space Design and Utilization
Southeastern Library Assessment Conference
  • Robert Fox, University of Louisville
  • Bruce Keisling, University of Louisville
Session 2, Piedmont Ballroom
Start Date
21-10-2013 11:10 AM
End Date
21-10-2013 12:00 PM

This program reports on a collaborative research study that examined student reactions to various library designs. Building on research into why some library spaces are preferred due to their sacred or inspirational nature, the presenters conducted a study utilizing interior and exterior images of both traditional and modern-looking library spaces. Students were asked to provide their reaction to the spaces, how often and for what purposes they would use such spaces, whether they believed that type of library space would advance the institutional mission, and whether they felt that space was of a sacred/spiritual or secular/non-spiritual nature.

This research will be of interest to those using data to match student preferences to future library space renovation and construction. It may also be one tool used to describe how certain types of spaces demonstrate the value of libraries in advancing the institutional mission. It adds to our literature in that no similar research on "sacred" library spaces compared results between students at a public research university and a theological seminary. Finally, there will be interest in how the researchers developed the survey utilizing an image pool with the split-randomization technique and how that survey was administered at two institutions.

Citation Information
Robert Fox and Bruce Keisling. "Sacred or Secular? How Student Perceptions May Guide Library Space Design and Utilization" (2013)
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