I was curious about how the educational theory of constructivism might be applied to help rethink the layout of libraries. To this end, I submitted an abstract to the organizers of Austin Design Week 2018. After the abstract was accepted by the conference organizers, I approached Jennifer Follen about working on the project together. Over several months, we co-developed the session drawing on Jennifer’s library science background as well as my interest in learning science.
The workshop, Please Talk in the Library: Redesigning Public Spaces for Collaborative Learning was attended by approximately 20 people, and it included a real-life design challenge: Working in groups, attendees worked to suggest improvements to a branch of the Austin Public Library. To answer questions and provide context, the branch manager was in attendance.
The workshop resulted in real-life suggestions for improving the library and attendees left with a handout for use when applying learning concepts to future work in libraries.