Skip to main content

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Resource Guide Collection

Design Thinking: Ideation & Prototyping

for Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces

Design Thinking...for Libraries?

Think different


We are all designers. This is not Design with a capital D. You design your life every moment of every day. From how you choose to dress to what you decide to eat for lunch to what you do for a living – these are all design choices.

This process is a shift in mindset more than anything else. It’s hard to explain in words, and while we are describing a process to follow, we can’t tell you how it works. Here's what we know: if you try it, you’re likely to come up with truly unexpected solutions. It can feel uncomfortable and chaotic, though. Leave your inner critic in the other room.

You can use this process to shift your thinking about services, spaces, projects, presentations – anything you can dream up.


It's a way of life

The Design Thinking process is not new, but has been beautifully illustrated and tailored to libraries by IDEO in Design Thinking for Libraries. You can find the entire toolkit there.




Inspiration, ideation, iteration

Inspiration, ideation, iteration


The iterative process leads to new inspirations, and the cycle starts again.