Children’s Services Department (CSD) is located on the ground floor of the library. It is a big unit of UFL to serve the user group ranging from ago 0 to elementary school with different culture backgrounds. To deliver best services to this group, Children’s Services department offers materials, daily programs, and technology access in form of computer lab with computers hooked up to Internet, and printer and copier in the library space.
CSD set up computer lab for education and entertainment purpose. Here children and parents have convenient access to Internet. Also, some computer programs are installed on these computers for work or study purpose. Right now six adult computers are placed at the entrance before the circulation desk (referred to as station 1). Eight others,including four adult and four children’s computers, are located next to the circulation desk on the South side (later referred to as station 2).
Due to the lack of information filter programs installed on children’s computers, the library places both computer stations around the circulation desk so that library staff can watch their monitors to make sure that no inappropriate contents are browsed.
Right now these computers are mainly used for information search and entertainment most of the time. Minor users usually use these computers to facilitate their homework, play video games, or to browse information from online. Parent users usually use computers to browse information or watch videos online. There is no officially scheduled library activities at both computer stations, but children and parents come in for programs tend to use them. Thus they are under heavy use. (Remember how heavy they are used and the use flow pattern?)
The problem of the current computer station layout is that it does not effectively facilitate children-parents collaboration. Station one is separated from the activity area by shelves and circulation desk. Thus, if parents use computer in that area, they will not able to see their children or communicate with them conveniently. The second concern of station one is that the computers placed right in front of the entrance mis-represent the services of the CSD services.
For station two, parents and children either sit face to face (should this be a problem? forgot what Lora said), or separately. Due to the resources and space limit, this station will not change right now.
The Children’s Department actively support the computer lab redesign project. In order to make these changes happen, they offered resources labor worker from department staff and volunteers, and a small amount of budget. Other resources available include our project team, another team from GSLIS practicum team, and professional advice from our class instructor Dr. Martin Wolske and Colin Rhinesmith.
In view of the resources available as well as time and space limit, we try to make our plan need-oriented, yet achievable. We decided that the old furniture can still function after the move, if no funding for new ones. The circulation desk might be shrunk to fit into smaller space. Library staff and volunteers can help move the furniture, computers and books once the plan is finally made. They also have a few thousand dollar budget to add new furniture.