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Service Design with Education in Mind: Teaching Moments at Library Service Points. Johanna Archbold

Service Design with Education in Mind: Teaching Moments at Library Service Points. Johanna Archbold

As more and more libraries create new spaces and revamp old spaces, the opportunity for wider changes as a consequence of new or updated spaces is significant. A physical change in environment is a natural instigator for service change whether planned or unplanned at the design stage.

RCSI Library used the opportunity of a completely new library project to re-imagine our approach to interaction with users at our primary service point. This focused on the physical space with openness, flexibility of use and the removal of the traditional ‘service desk’ as a barrier as key drivers of the change. Our Service Design also considered the types of interactions we were having in our old library, those that we wanted to have, and how we could maximise the impact of these interactions for the benefit of our users.

After almost two years of service at this new Information Point, what has emerged through ‘activating’ this space, is an understanding of how service point interactions can be significant ‘Teaching Moments’ between library staff and our users. This paper will tease out how we have developed ‘Teaching Moments’, starting with the space design, and covering developments for different cohorts of users, particularly those who are returning to education or those requiring additional supports. Staff training, incremental improvements, and relationship development across the organization will all be discussed in the presentation to provide useful areas for consideration for other libraries planning space and service changes. 

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