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Wednesday, November 8 • 6:00pm - 6:45pm
08 It’s Getting Hot In Here! Heat Mapping and Data Gathering for Space Analysis and Design

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As libraries continue to shift their focus away from in-house stacks and toward the idea of the library as a hub for research, collaboration, and discovery, it has become increasingly important for us to be able to make proactive, data-driven decisions about the design of our physical spaces. Beyond gate counts and traditional metrics, though, how can we gather data on patron usage of our existing spaces? Butler University Libraries used SUMA, an open source web-based assessment toolkit, to conduct a semester-long heat mapping and data gathering project to observe the habits of library users as they interact with our spaces.

Over the course of the semester, faculty and staff at the library gathered distinct sets of usage data at different times, dates, and points in the semester. These sets comprised more than 1,700 individual data points. Using SUMA’s analytics feature, we generated both a heat map for immediate visualization of patron interactions with the library’s spaces and a cleaned data set for further analysis, which revealed patterns that helped us answer the following questions:

Do patrons bring their own devices to the library?
To what extent do patrons use our print materials in-house?
Are patrons totally silent or having quiet conversations?
Are patrons eating/drinking?
What times of day are different parts of the library seeing most use?
How are library computers being used?
Are patrons working with multiple screens?
Are patrons studying solo? Collaborating? Sharing tables?

This poster session will walk attendees through the space assessment process from start to finish. Beginning with setting up your institution’s instance of SUMA and ending with techniques for synthesizing and visualizing your data, the poster will also incorporate suggestions for managing workflows, being intentional in choosing metrics, and examples of Butler’s process from beginning to end.

avatar for Laura Menard

Laura Menard

Health Sciences Librarian, Butler University
I graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with my MLS in 2011. For the past three years I've been the Health Sciences Librarian at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN. My liaison areas are pharmacy, PA, health sciences, communication sciences and disorders, and science technology and society... Read More →

Wednesday November 8, 2017 6:00pm - 6:45pm EST
Carolina Ballroom, Francis Marion Hotel 387 King Street, Charleston, SC 29401