LIME ﹣ A toolkit for us to create the future library together.

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Abstract

Exponential advances in technology change the way people consume information drastically. Instead of choose and pick up newspapers and books, we are spoon fed with information from tones of screen-based devices. It seems that we source quicker, search easier and know sooner, with a price of patience and focus. Library used to be the place where people seek for truth, stories, opportunities and peace of mind. They are in search of new roles and innovations in order to stay relevant to the users.

My thesis aims to design a workshop model and toolkit for library activists to initiate co-creation experiences, empowering the creativity of people from different expertises for future library development. The final design LIME combines a physical kit with a digital mobile platform to guide users through the journey of co-creation. It is a consolidation of knowledge based on my three-year study, and a series of workshops supported by Umeå Universitetbiblioteket.

Inspiration and Method

Libraries around the world are facing a lot of challenges to maintain usage and sustain their development in the Network Age. There are many concepts and ideas proposed, but new manifestos seldom come from the library users. 'Could the co-creation workshop model we have used in creative process be useful in this context?' I can't help thinking. If yes, how do we propagate this method to people who cares about library, make their voices get heard and transform their ideas into actions?

An action research, consisting of three workshops in collaborate with the Umeå Universitetbiblioteket, is performed in order to figure out:
1. The pain points and happiness in the process
2. The metal model of an library activist
3. The impact of workshop and it’s outcome

Through a reflective synthesis, the keys to make a quality co-creation workshop and design principles of the final design is constructed.

Result

The final design LIME focuses on helping library activists to create strategic and effective workshops.

Physical LIME toolkit provides a portabale set of action cards — recipes for planning a simple workshop. They allow users to learn and combine activities to form a workshop with clear goals.

Digital LIME platform grows successful creative workshops by bridging the workshop experience of users with curated knowledge-base. It assists workshop facilitators with handy tools and optimize the value of the workshop outcomes by collective sharing.