Friday, August 15, 2014

Update: Grand Valley State's Mary Idema Pew Library

A lot of care and planning went into the spectacular new library at Grand Valley State in Allendale, MI.  The website tells the story:

"In this new library, students will find a range of environments, from noisy to quiet, in which they can work on an assignment alone or in a group; receive coaching from a peer consultant in research, writing, or presenting; practice a new skill or play with a new idea; learn something unexpectedly; engage easily with each other in spaces engineered to accommodate the sounds of natural conversation; or curl up by the fireplace in a contemplative space with the best views on campus. Students will do all of these things in a building that was crafted with their needs in mind—the right lighting, the right furniture, the right resources, the right services, the right spaces, and the right amount of flexibility. "Going to the library" will take on a whole new meaning as the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons becomes and integral part of every student's experience at Grand Valley."

Steelcase helped produce this video intro to the building, furnishings and services.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Conference Announcement: Designing Libraries for the 21st Century

U. of Calgary.  September 28-30, 2014

Co-sponsored by CNI and North Carolina State U., the event includes two pre-conferences and tours of the Taylor Family Digital Library.

Friday, May 2, 2014

"The Battle over Library Spaces"

If you are about to embark on a commons project that involves co-locating services,  Rick Anderson, U. of Utah's Marriott Library, recommends eight principles "to bear in mind when faced with requests from other entities on campus to occupy space in the library."

1. The library does not belong to you
2. Say “yes” or “no” based on strategy, not defensiveness
3. Cooperation creates political capital
4. Begin all space-sharing relationships with a formal document… that clearly lays out rights and responsibilities of both parties.
5. Bear in mind that if the library hosts other services, patrons will likely experience them as “library services”
6. Don’t treat your guests like tenants, or even like guests; treat them like fellow citizens. 
7. Invite partners to meetings and events, maybe even on a recurring basis.
8. There will be blood. Clean it up promptly. 

Anderson's article, in two parts, appeared in Library Journal, March 27 and May 1, 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Canadian Learning Commons Conference June 9 - 11

Please note that registration is now officially open for the 7th Canadian Learning Commons Conference to be held in Sherbrooke, Quebec this coming June 9-11, 2014.

All Canadian and international delegates are welcome to attend. You are invited to visit the conference website for more information:

The online registration form can be found at:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hampshire College - Learning Commons: Proposal and Process

"In 1968, the Harold F. Johnson Library at Hampshire College was imagined as the “educative aorta of the College,” critical to Hampshire’s interdisciplinary, experimental program. In 2014, we have the opportunity, thanks to the Portal Building project and the bookstore’s impending relocation, to re-envision a library that includes a Learning Commons designed to respond more actively, directly, and with a greater impact, to the Hampshire curriculum."

"Educative aorta" aside, Hampshire College (Amherst, MA) has set its sights on a transformation of the Johnson Library.  The process started in November, 2013 and is well documented on the project's web site.