Change by Design: A Co-design Project at the Guangzhou Library

WANG, Changqing, ZHANG, Jiangshun and XIAO, Kaiyin (2019) Change by Design: A Co-design Project at the Guangzhou Library. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2019 - Athens, Greece - Libraries: dialogue for change in Session 113c - IFLA Poster Session.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Change by Design: A Co-design Project at the Guangzhou Library

With the recent introduction of Design Thinking to libraries, it becomes recognized that design can transform the organization and inspire innovation. Design Thinking, as a method for practical and creative resolution of problems, emphasizes community co-creation and joint efforts in decision making. Six years after being relocated in the current building, the Guangzhou Library is launching a co-design project to rethink its space and services. Towards a better use of space, more human-centered services and an open mindset of library staffs, the project takes four steps. It begins by acquiring basic Design Thinking knowledge and skills, and learning to use them in the library context. After that, Design Thinking workshops are hosted in the library to generate new ideas for changes and present them in prototype. The library then takes on action to bring the ideas into reality, by collaborating with local university and design professionals. The last but not least is to extend the project to proximal libraries, by delivering localized workshops and help establish co-design teams in these libraries that are open to changes. So far, the project has affected the way we work in the library towards higher efficiency and more creativity, in a team that everyone contributes. It also changes our mindset, by thinking from the users’ perspective, encouraging mistakes and visual thinking. We work not only with fellow librarians, but also closely with users of the library and members of the community. Further changes can be expected in the near future on the library spaces and services.

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