In today’s fast-paced academic world, innovation and creativity are essential for staying ahead. At TU Delft Library, we embarked on a transformative journey to enhance inspiration for students at the library. “How can our organization contribute to fostering an exceptional learning experience for students?” “In what ways can we infuse the Library Learning Center with elements that inspire and engage our students?” With these questions driving our initiative, “I Get Inspired” emerged as a Service-Deep-Dive project, was set out to breathe new life into our academic environment that fosters a knowledge hub of creativity and exploration. In this blog post, we’ll take you through the journey, from the Exploration phase to Ideate & Evaluate and share the results of our endeavor.

Phase 1: Exploration – User Research:

The project began with an extensive in-depth user research using the Context Mapping Method. Through student sessions and observations, we delved deep into the diverse perspectives and experiences of our students’ needs and behavior. Our observations revealed that students spent hours in the library hall, and their stress levels increased significantly during exam periods. We found that they often use the outdoor areas when the weather is good, but more commonly they frequent the Coffee Star area when taking a break or for casual chats with friends.

From the pains we converted to opportunities, we listened intently to understand what truly motivates and inspires our students. This phase ended with detailed value-based personas and important student values used as building blocks for the next phase, where we started prototyping concepts.

Phase 2: Ideate & Evaluate – Prototyping Ideas:

We transitioned into the Ideate & Evaluate phase with the Design Sprint method, where creativity and brainstorming flourished. Drawing inspiration from the findings, together with colleagues from the Library Learning Center, we unleashed our imaginations and generated a myriad of innovative ideas for the students in the library main hall. Ideas ranging from interactive workshops to walk-by activities, each concept was carefully crafted and prototyped to ignite the spark of inspiration within our student body. 

We built two prototypes and both were designed to facilitate ‘mode shifting,’ allowing students to transition from studying to another form of knowledge engagement in a lighthearted manner.

Prototype 1: Origami

Origami table allowed the students to fold the origami artwork if they needed a short break and wanted to put their mind into something else.

Prototype 2: Mini Mojo’s 

Mini Mojo, was to let students explore the library space with several short activities.

Phase 3: Inspiration Program for Students – Visualizing overview

Building on the insights from phase 1 and phase 2, we developed the Inspiration Program for Students (IPS). By planning mode shifting activities together with “golden moments” for students, the Library Learning Center is able to visually plan short mode shifting activities for students based on the TU Delft academic calendar. These golden moments signify periods when students are most receptive to inspiration, accounting for exam weeks, the start of the academic year, and non-academic periods in the academic calendar.

There are for example activities suitable for new students to get a first impression of what the library offers, other than studying and borrowing books. By following the IPS, customizing its activities according to the academic calendar and ensuring proper coordination between events, the Library Learning Center can enhance student inspiration and turn it into a creative knowledge hub!

In a nutshell, students embraced the prototypes wholeheartedly. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with many expressing gratitude for the newfound sense of inspirational activities. This project not only enhanced the students’ experience but also reinvigorated the spirit of innovation within our library staff, fostering a culture of creativity and collaboration.

Looking back to the journey of ‘I get Inspired’, we are reminded of the profound power of inspiration to fuel change and drive progress. Moving forward, we remain dedicated to nurturing a culture of innovation and exploration, where inspiration knows no bounds. Join us as we continue to breathe life into the TU Delft Library, one idea at a time.