In the beginning...


... there was feedback, and the feedback was good. But we never settle for good, we wanted to be the best health and social care library on the Isle of Man. (Technically we're the only health and social care library on the Isle of Man, but ambition is good!)


The impossible idea

As with most good concepts, this one began with a coffee. One minute we were discussing an article on innovation hubs, the next we were sizing up a chunk of our unused counter with a 30cm ruler.

We didn't actually think the idea would go anywhere, but...


... Then came the focus groups

We run a biennial user needs analysis at KD, and this includes focus groups with our user groups. One comment which came up over and over again was the need for a comfortable, informal, group work area. Suddenly, our idea had legs! Time to act on the feedback!


Wish list
After carefully considering what we and our users wanted from the new space we drafted up a wish list

  • A smart board with computer link up
  • Comfortable, stylish furniture
  • Something to dampen sound

We couldn't manage it within our budget, but knew how much it would benefit the service. Thankfully Health Education England and HCLU were able to help, and we began scouring the internet for furniture options, privacy screens, and small space solutions.


Elbow grease
Over the next few months we refined the design, waved goodbye to a big expanse of counter, and welcomed the "glass cage of emotion" as it was fondly known.
Everyone mucked in with marking up imaginary furniture in masking tape; assembling flat pack (friendships just about survived); and a very stressful week of adding the book decals which transformed the cage to the hub!


Something to be proud of
Finally, everything was together (literally and figuratively) and we had our hub!
All we needed was a name - and our users were able to help us with that - Cooill Darree (Oak Nook in Manx Gaelic) was officially christened and opened on the 7th of December.


Worth it?
Although it was a lot of work drafting plans, applying for funding, and doing a lot of the manual labour ourselves, we wouldn't change it! ...Although we might have paid someone to do the decals - positioning, spraying, and squeegeeing was difficult. But the hub is well used, has attracted a range of user groups, and received great feedback!


Feedback you say?

"I love this room so much, the noise dampening photos are a great touch"

"It's a great space and comfortable we will definitely use it again - and you lent us a computer - you guys are amazing!"

"I love this room! It's such a nice resource"

"It's beautiful. We feel awkward about doing group work at the general tables, and obviously the quiet room is great but we needed somewhere to talk. This is perfect" 

"This screen is amazing! I can't believe there's no wires"


Who uses it and how?

The hub has been used 55 times since December - mostly for group study (as intended). Roughly half of bookings have used the IT equipment (27), and those using it have included students, researchers, our marketing team, senior management, and specialist nurses.

Keyll Darree Library Staff