Date of Original Version
In order to successfully navigate space in seeking information, students need to develop their spatial thinking, or the ability to visualize and interpret location, distance, direction, relationships, movement, and change through space. Learning to think spatially has been defined as a vital skill for students to be equipped properly for their future (National Research Council, 2006; National Science Foundation, 2010). Wayfinding refers to the ability of users of the built environment (i.e., a facility) to navigate through that environment to find specific destinations (Mandel, 2010). In the school library environment this means that student users can find and access the information they need for school related tasks and assignments. Developing wayfinding skills contributes to the development of spatial literacy. Often, the school provides a child’s first experience independently navigating spaces, yet there is limited research on assessing the usability and navigability of school library spaces. The purpose of this study is to explore how to improve the effectiveness of wayfinding and spatial awareness tools in a school library environment addressing the research question: How effective are the existing wayfinding aids in communicating spatial information to the user? This report is the results of the pilot study focused on an expert review of the signage systems in a selection of school libraries.
Mandel, Lauren H., and Melissa P. Johnston. "Are we leaving them lost in the woods with no breadcrumbs to follow? Assessing signage systems in school libraries." School Libraries Worldwide, vol. 20, no. 2, 2014, pp. 38-53.