Using virtual space to compensate for lack of physical space?

columbia_university.jpgBelow you will find a paper I wrote based on some work I did back at Teachers College. I hope you enjoy it.

Cocciolo, A. (in press). Alleviating physical space constraints using virtual space? A study from an urban academic library. Library Hi Tech, 28(4).

ABSTRACT
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate if virtual space can be used to alleviate physical space constraints for group collaboration in an urban academic library environment. Specifically, this paper looks to uncover if library users will turn to library-provided virtual space when there is a scarcity of physical space.
Design/methodology/approach – This project discusses the design of the physical and virtual environment, and then measures the use of this environment quantitatively over a 47-month period (2005-2009).
Findings – Results indicate that physical spaces for group collaboration are in very high demand, whereas virtual ones are not. A scarcity of physical collaboration spaces does not lead users to library-provided virtual space, but rather to work around the scarcity in the physical world.
Originality/value – Highlights the value of library as a gathering place and the ways in which virtual collaboration space cannot easily take the place of physical collaboration space.

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