User Research with Brightspot Strategy

In order to create a 21st century technological library, the Dorothy M. Crosland Tower and Price Gilbert Library are undergoing a major transformation to renew their crumbling and antiquated infrastructure. The Library is one of the most heavily utilized buildings on campus, and yet it currently operates with outdated electrical, HVAC, and other mechanical systems. Over the past years, faculty, students, Library administration, staff, and campus administration have campaigned to raise awareness about these critical infrastructure issues. 

User Research & Visioning Process
The Library partnered with Brightspot Strategy, a user-centered design consultancy, to assist with the user research process and develop a shared vision to inform the architectural design and programming of the renewed Library. At a high level, the objective of the User Research Study was to understand the research, teaching, and learning needs of various groups on campus and identify space and service opportunities to support those needs. Review the following documents to learn more:

Part 1 - Research Report & Playbook
Part 2 - Service Design Overview


Why is this necessary?
Failing mechanical and electrical systems are costly to repair on an annual basis. Additionally, significant shifts in pedagogy, learning styles and scholarly publishing call for the Library to re-imagine the way it supports the teaching, learning and research mission of the Institute. 

How has the campus community been engaged about this project?
The Library 2020 Plan was shared with the campus administration and the Library's Undergraduate, Graduate, and Faculty Advisory Boards, which serve as sounding boards for the Library. Numerous "behind-the-scenes" tours were conducted over the past three years. Representatives from the Student Government Association and The Technique have been continuously updated of developments along the way. The Library partnered with an outside consultant (Brightspot Strategy) to conduct numerous focus groups, workshops and one-on-one interviews to engage the entire community about their vision for Library Next.

What will be the result?
Renewing the Library Towers allows for the creation of inspiring and productive research, work, collaborative, and quiet study spaces to better suit the type of scholarly activities that take place at Georgia Tech. In addition, the collaboration with Emory University Libraries means greater access to a shared collection for both scholarly communities. Finally, reimagining the Library space will provide opportunities to reimagine Library services to proactively meet the evolving research and scholarly communication needs of the Institute.

How will this be funded?
The Board of Regents recently approved $1.7 million in design funds to renew the Price Gilbert Memorial Library & Dorothy M. Crosland Tower. The Institute is also contributing $2.3 million in design funds towards this first phase of the process.

Additional information will be added as the process continues.