General Resources on Design Thinking and Transformation
The resources in this section are offered as more general resources on the topics, as well as links to the transformation stories that were a result of the Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces project.
What is Design Thinking? (1:50 minute video)
This video covers the basic concepts of design thinking in just under 2 minutes.
Design Thinking for Libraries Toolkit (external site)
This toolkit serves as a fundamental guide to applying design thinking strategies developed in the design industry to library services and programming. It was a collaborative development between IDEO and public libraries in Aarhus (Denmark) and Chicago, with funding from the Gates Foundation.
The project behind this 2014 guide laid the foundation for the later Smart Spaces project and is still quite relevant. It documents the process and tools for transformation of spaces in two libraries to active community hubs.
Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces Transformation Stories
Kids’ Space Transformations
- Glenns Ferry Public Library, ID (pdf) converted a DVD storage room into a makerspace.
- Honey Grove Library and Learning Center, TX (pdf) started with the intention to carve out active learning space for kids and ended up on a major capital improvement campaign.
- Hot Springs Public Library, NC (pdf) opened up a dingy storage area to create a colorful space for kids to learn and play.
- James Kennedy Public Library, IA (pdf) opened up space for STEAM learning.
- Norelius Public Library, IA (pdf) created three different areas – pre-school, kids space, and a makerspace.
- Tucker Free Library, NH (pdf) introduced their KidSpace as the “indoor playground for the mind.”
Teen Space Transformations
- Cornwall Public Library, NY (pdf) replaced a reference desk with a vibrant space that teens could call their own.
- Madison Public Library, SD (pdf) transformed their relationship with the teens in their community.
All Ages Space Transformation
- Greenwich Free Library, NY (pdf) provided a computer lab and STEM learning for patrons of all ages.
- Ignacio Community Library, CO (pdf) created an Idea Lab that fosters collaboration across all ages of patrons.
- Punxsutawney Public Library, PA (pdf) opened up space for active learning at many levels.
- Ronan Library District, MT (pdf) responded to the needs of their community by rethinking how they used their library space.
- Town Creek Public Library, AL (pdf) used their space transformation to breathe new life into their community.
- Caledonia Public Library, MN (pdf) wanted a space suitable for all generations for multiple uses.
Outdoor Space Transformations
- Wilton Public & Gregg Free Library, NH (pdf) created an outdoor Smart Park.