Re-branding libraries to embrace open space and aesthetic reflections: a case of USIU-Africa as a benchmark of Kenyan libraries
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This paper aims to examine the strides taken by academic libraries in Kenya to match the standards of modern library buildings while highlighting ensuing impact on user satisfaction. It will give an insight and provide a comprehensive comparison between Kenyan modern libraries and other modern libraries in the world which are considered best library designs, to show progressive development of library design and equipment. Design/methodology/approach The paper takes a viewpoint approach after studying the history and development of the current library buildings in Kenya. This paper will answer the following questions: How far are Kenyan university libraries in embracing open space and aesthetic reflections? What is the impact of artistic modern library designs to user satisfaction? What are the effects of colorful interior design and décor on libraries? In addressing these and other related questions, the design of new academic libraries in Kenya over the past eight years is traced. Findings Libraries in Kenya and other developing countries have stayed in the right path of revolution by adopting the modern library designs and giving library users more reasons to cherish their libraries as not only reading facilities but also destinations for relaxation, discussions and hangouts. The United States International University (USIU) Library has been touted as the pioneer modern library building, and its standards have been replicated and bettered by other libraries in Kenya today. This is a big stride for Kenyan libraries in the wake of dynamism in libraries. Originality/value The value of the paper is that it gives an insight on the development of library buildings in Kenya, providing a comprehensive comparison between Kenyan modern libraries and other modern libraries in the world which are considered best library designs, thereby showing progressive development of library design and equipment.
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