What matters for students' use of physical library space?

Seunghyun Cha, Tae Wan Kim

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Physical space in an academic library is increasingly important to fully support students' diverse needs for learning spaces. However, inefficient space design and planning give rise to crowded and underutilized spaces in a library, thereby probably lowering students' learning outcomes and wasting costly space. Understanding students' use of space can facilitate effective design and planning, which in turn will result in more efficient use of space. As students' spatial choices (i.e., the act of decision-making of an individual or group among two or more space alternatives for a certain activity) account for much of the space use in a library, this study explored the factors that influence their choice of space in an academic library using a paper-based survey (n. =. 252) at the central academic library, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands. The five most important space attributes were "Amount of space," "Noise level," "Crowdedness," "Comfort of furnishing" and "Cleanliness." The spatial choice patterns also differed according to different user and activity profiles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-279
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Academic Librarianship
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic library
  • Learning space
  • Library as place
  • Library design
  • Space planning
  • Space use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Library and Information Sciences


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