Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Universal Design: A Practical Guide to Creating and Recreating Interiors of Academic Libraries for Teaching, Learning and Research

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Universal Design: A Practical Guide to Creating and Recreating Interiors of Academic Libraries for Teaching, Learning and Research

Article excerpt

Universal Design: A Practical Guide to Creating and Recreating Interiors of Academic Libraries for Teaching, Learning and Research. By Gail M. Staines. Oxford: Chandos, 2012. 157p. Paper $90 (ISBN: 1843346338).

Librarians do everything: plumber, carpenter, printer technician--if something needs to get done, librarians do it, and typically, the duties they assume are not something they learned in library school. General contracting and interior design are also among the duties many librarians will assume at some point in their career. In this book, author Gail Staines approaches library design and redesign from the user's perspective (whether the user be staff or patron) and focuses on how to incorporate the seven principles of universal design when planning new or remodeled library spaces. These seven principles include design that can be used by people regardless of their physical or mental challenges, designed flexibility of choice (for instance, with regard to handedness), intuitive design, informative design, minimization of potential accidents through design, usefulness enhanced by design, and design that can be maneuvered easily.

Clearly intended for busy professionals, the work is comprised of short chapters that cover the importance of interior design in creating spaces that are universally friendly and conducive to learning. The book also addresses how to identify potential collaborators, such as the writing center or the teaching resource center, during a redesign project.

In the first five chapters, Staines provides practical advice on how to approach redesign projects, including details about ergonomics, lighting, flooring, and so on. Staines also explores comfort (climate control, furniture) and the expectations of today's students with regard to Web connectivity and amenities. …

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