SJSU School of Information Receives National Research Grant Award


San José State University School of Information was selected to receive a National Leadership Grant award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. The $39,826 grant will allow full-time faculty member Dr. Anthony Bernier to initiate research regarding design of successful Young Adult (YA) spaces in public libraries.

Anthony BernierDr. Bernier, a national expert on YA library spaces, will partner with two other youth studies scholars to conduct research aimed at helping libraries create YA spaces that increase use of library resources by youth and help libraries more effectively meet the needs of young adults. The Making Space for Young Adults in Public Libraries research project represents the first attempt to systematically explore the spatial experience of young people in libraries.

Dr. Bernier’s research will help library professionals assess, prioritize, and evaluate current spaces and involve young people in future redesigns. It will also change how future librarians are educated to think about the topic of library space and its connections to services, programs, and building relationships with young adults.

Dr. Bernier’s core research team includes Dr. William Armaline, Assistant Professor with the Justice Studies Department at San José State University, and Dr. Mike Males, Senior Researcher with the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice in San Francisco. San José Public Library and Salinas Public Library will serve as field test sites, helping the research team collect data regarding youth preferences for the design of public library space.

The research team will also explore new ways to collect data and conduct research on best practices for executing youth–specific surveys. They will develop data collection tools that tap into technology that is increasingly popular with young people — social networking software and immersive environments. For example, through Second Life’s immersive environment, survey participants will be invited to register spatial and aesthetic preferences and contribute their own design recommendations.