Notes on "Seating Sweeps"

Seating Sweeps: An Innovative Research Method to Learn About How Our Patrons Use the Library
Mott Linn, Head of Collection Management, Clark University

  • SPSS - Data analysis
  • Created diagrams showing every seat in library.
  • Every seat & group of seats was given an ID#.
  • They took these seating sweeps one day per week during Oct & Nov. These sweeps were taken 4 times each day they were taken.
  • They discovered that door count was not a good predictor of head count.
  • The library's door count more than doubled after renovation, however.
  • The coordinator of the seating sweeps created clear definitions of each item on the checklist. See Linn’s article (linked below) for the checklist.
  • They color-coded the seating according to the level of use.
  • Due in large parts to the data gained in these results & the renovations made, they won an ALA design award for this renovation.
  • For Linn’s article describing this process, see:


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