SJSU SLIS Faculty Members Give Keynote Address on Youth Spaces at BayNet Event


Sharing findings on a research project regarding young adult spaces, Dr. Anthony Bernier and Dr. Jeremy Kemp of the San José State University (SJSU) School of Library and Information Science recently delivered a joint keynote address titled “Getting it Right: Evaluating Library Spaces and Services” at the annual Bay Area Library and Information Network (BayNet).

During the 60-minute talk, Bernier and Kemp highlighted key topics from a four-year multi-method investigation of young adult spaces funded in part by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Bernier discussed the need for evidence-based data about youth spaces and best practices in library design for young adults. He explained how researchers generated the first empirical data available about young adult spaces in libraries. A few of the important and interesting results emerging from the surveys include the need for more seating options and the need to question long-held assumptions about YA spaces in proximity to other spaces.

Kemp discussed how virtual environments such as Second Life can be used to evaluate youth spaces in libraries. Researchers recreated actual youth spaces in Second Life and other virtual environments using photographs and videos submitted by librarians. The researchers were then able to use these environments to conduct surveys about library spaces and gather data about how different elements changed user preferences for youth spaces.

The BayNet event was held May 9, 2014, at the San Francisco Public Library. About 75 BayNet members attended the joint address, which was followed by a Q&A session.

The presentation recording is available for viewing on YouTube:

More information about the IMLS-funded research project can be found on the website for

Bernier is an associate professor at the SJSU information school. His research interests include public libraries, serving multicultural populations, young adult services, and other research expertise. In addition to teaching graduate-level courses in the school’s Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program, he serves as a faculty supervisor for the San José Gateway PhD program.

Kemp is a lecturer at the SJSU information school, teaching courses in information retrieval and web usability, among others, for graduate students in the exclusively online MLIS program. His research interests are diverse, covering distance education and pedagogy in library and information science to human-computer interaction and information networks.