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Make Your Space Work Harder

Before you renovate - analyze your space

ThirdWay is the only space planning firm dedicated to bringing retail analytics and patron research techniques from leading consumer companies to public, academic and specialty libraries.

When Should I Evaluate My Space?


If you’re planning to renovate, we’ll help you focus on key priorities.


Don’t put the same old 6′ stacks inside your beautiful new library!  We will work with your architects to create an oasis for learning and discovery.


Sometimes less is more.  We can show you how to use your existing fixtures and shelves to display your collections and increase circulation.  All without ripping out the carpet.


What We Do


An evaluation of your space including circulation efficiency, pathways and zone placement.


Work with architects and interior designers to ensure that a renovation or new construction meets patron needs and conforms to best retail space practices.


Understand the needs of patrons including tradition (responsive research) like surveys, focus groups, public input sessions. Explore the needs of marginalized and emerging communities with ethnographic and other observational research.

How Does a Space Audit Work?



Contact us for a quote and contract for a space audit.



Before we visit your space, we’ll have a phone or video consultation to understand your situation and your goals for a space audit.



We will visit your library and take pictures of your space, then sit down with your library leaders to ask questions.



We’ll deliver our report which will include suggestions as well as best practices – all tied to actual photos of your library.



When you’ve had a chance to review our report, we’ll follow up to explain our observations and answer any questions.


Space Audits

Each space audit includes a zone analysis, which shows you the ideal layout of your space by activity/area to maximize circulation and space utilization. It also has pictures of your space with suggestions for immediate changes and best practices drawn from other libraries.

Recent Work (2022-2024)



  • American Library Association - 2022, 2023

  • Illinois Library Association - 2022

  • New Mexico Library Association - 2022, 2023

  • South Carolina Library Association - 2023

  • Missouri Library Association - 2023

  • New York Library Association - 2023

  • LibLearnX – 2024 



  • Alaska State Library - Fairbanks, Anchorage, Juneau, AK

  • Virginia State Library - Norfolk, Fredericksburg, VA

  • Tennessee State Library - Dickson, TN

  • Iowa State Library - Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Waterloo

  • Winding Rivers Library System -
    West Salem, WI

  • RAILS - Elgin, Burr Ridge,
    Barrington Area, IL

  • MAIN - LongHill Township, NJ

  • PALS - NJ,

  • Westchester Library System - NY

  • BCCLS - NJ



  • Albuquerque Academy - NM

  • Manhattan Elwood Public Library - IL

  • Elk Grove Public Library - IL

  • Oshkosh Public Library - WI

  • Jersey City Public Library - NJ

  • Tomah Public Library - WI

  • Matteson Area Public Library - IL

  • Mamaroneck Public Library - NY

  • Palatine Public Library  - IL

  • Mokena Community Public Library - IL

  • Winnetka Public Library Main Branch - IL

  • Winnetka Public Library Northfield Branch - IL

  • Fremont Public Library - IL

  • Peotone Public Library - IL

  • Hoboken Public Library - NJ

  • Iowa City Public Library - IA

  • Algonquin Area Public Library - IL

  • Summit Free Public Library - NJ

  • Ottumwa Public Library - IA

  • Decorah Public Library - IA

  • Wayne Public Library - NJ

  • Ferguson Main Library - CT

  • Harry Bennett Branch Library - CT

  • Weed Memorial Library - CT

  • South End Branch Library - CT

  • Urbandale Public Library - IA

  • Cross-County Public Library - AR

  • Harrison Public Library - NY

  • Linden Public Library - NJ

  • Lodi Memorial Library - NJ

  • Parsippany Library - NJ

  • La Crosse Public Library - NJ



  • Whitehall Public Library - WI

  • Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation Tribal Library - UT

  • Jersey City Public Library - Priscilla Gardner Main Library - NJ

  • Matteson Community Public Library - IL

  • Ferguson Public Library System - Stamford, CT



  • Chetco Community Public Library - Brookings, OR (Completed) 

  • Jersey City Public Library -
    Jersey City, NJ (In Progress) 


Renovations and New Construction

When you renovate, you will spend hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to modernize your library. But will you make it more effective? By incorporating the best consumer research and retail design practices into your library planning process we can help ensure that your circulation increases and that you create effective spaces that will allow your community to engage with the new library space.


We incorporate modern consumer research and retail design practices into your planning process to increase your library's circulation while creating more effective spaces for community engagement.

We work alongside architects and interior designers to be the voice of the patron in the library design process, paying particular attention to pathways, merchandising, furniture selection and usability.



Kurt Hadeler

Director, Mahwah Public Library

"David and his team were great to work with.  Their considerable experience in marketing and clear-eyed approach to display and merchandising library materials were insightful.  
The space audit confirmed some things we suspected and also opened our eyes to exciting new ideas.  The audit dovetailed perfectly into our Strategic Plan by highlighting ways to improve our current space with very little cost.  It also gives me a great resource to help gather support for bigger changes."



ThirdWay Space specializes in:

  • Space Audits - of existing library spaces

  • Master Plans - for renovations or new construction

  • Research - Patron research


5,000 SF or less - $6,500

5,000 SF to 20,000 SF - $7,500

20,000 SF to 50,000 SF - $8,500

Above 50,000 SF - $9,500



David Vinjamuri

David Vinjamuri is President of ThirdWay Space and Associate Professor of Marketing (adj.) at NYU where he teaches graduate students. David is the author of Library Space Planning: A PLA Guide (ALA, 2019), Accidental Branding: How Ordinary People Build Extraordinary Brands (Wiley, 2008) and two novels. David is a passionate advocate for public libraries and has audited over sixty libraries for space design efficiency since 2017.


David was named as the inspiration for the Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Contest which won the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award in 2015. In 2022, in addition to auditing 16 libraries and working with architects on master plans for five other systems, David presented at ALA national conference in Washington, DC (Ethnographic Design: Creating Culturally Centered Library Spaces) and conferences for the Illinois Library Association, Alaska State Library, New Mexico Library Association, Iowa State Library, State of Tennessee, Virginia State Library and Morris County (NJ).


David has been quoted as an expert on brands in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, BusinessWeek, US News & World Report, BusinessWeek and Investor’s Business Daily. David has contributed to BrandWeek, Advertising Age, Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly and wrote the “Brand Truth” column online for Forbes which attracted over 1 million readers in 10 years. He has appeared as a brand expert on PBS Marketplace, CBS News, BBC World, Fox Business News, Bloomberg TV and MSNBC.


January 6, 2013

Why Public Libraries Matter: And How They Can Do More

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January 1, 2019

Library Space Planning: A PLA Guide—eEditions PDF e-book

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June 26, 2022

Ethnographic Design: Creating Community-Centered Libraries

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April 3, 2015

The Case For Libraries

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June 30, 2022

Avoid the Cookie-Cutter Library

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January 27, 2021

Designing for the Future — The Post-Pandemic Library

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