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Dissertation Information for Shari Ann Lee

- Shari Ann Lee

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- University of California, Los Angeles (USA) (2009)

- Clara M. Chu

- Mary Niles Maack
- Anne Gilliland-Swetland
- Frederick David Erickson

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: Teen space: Designed for whom?

Abstract: The changing technological needs of 21st century library users have led librarians to reconsider traditional notions and physical structures of the public library. This attention to the library as place and space indubitably represents an important shift in considering the future of these institutions, particularly as it applies to teens. However, IS research in this area rarely considers how bias and individual expression translate spatially--despite the fact that humans have been shown to "alter or regulate their behaviors...with reference or deference to the built environment."

This ethnographic case study aimed to understand if/how preexisting notions of teens influenced the spatial design and arrangement of the teen space of one local public library and, by extension, teen use of, and behavior in, the space. Designed to tell participants' stories as lived experiences, the study examined teen behavior and use within the contexts of notions of teens and social control as posited by Manzo. The research was conducted over thirteen weeks using interviews and participant observation. An interpretive methodological approach to data analysis was used.

Findings revealed that decisions regarding architectural and design features of the space were determined by the expectation that teens would be disruptive. That expectation was based on consultant/librarian reports, which were also highly reflective of common preexisting notions of teens that had long permeated library culture. Thus, notions of teens were physically reflected and enacted in the space. The resulting panoptic-esque design was intended to provide an effective and efficient method of monitoring and self monitoring that would, in essence, force teens to behave. Coupled with furniture layout and library tactics, these design decisions significantly affected the way teens behaved in the space. For example, teens exhibited a higher level of comfort with the fluid or flexible layout, in which movable furniture optimized usability and allowed the transient personalization of the space. On the contrary, restricted mutability of the furniture had a similarly restrictive impact on teen behavior.

This suggests that issues of social control in the built environment are not only relevant to teen space creation and design, but also to library architecture/design in general. Given the long, albeit inadequate, tradition of library service to teens, these findings also have the potential to aid librarians and others interested in improving library services to teens, and provide much needed data on teens and teen space that could potentially improve library services to this group.

MPACT Scores for Shari Ann Lee

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2010-09-27 20:26:28

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Students under Shari Ann Lee

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