Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rolex Learning Center - Lausanne, Switzerland

Next time you are in Europe, try to fit in a trip to Lausanne's Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale where SANAA, a Japanese architectural firm, has designed a unique multi-purpose academic support facility.  

"The Rolex Learning Center...will function as a laboratory for learning, a library with 500,000 volumes and an international cultural hub for EPFL, open to both students and the public. Spread over one single fluid space of 20,000 sq metres, it provides a seamless network of services, libraries, information gathering, social spaces, spaces to study, restaurants, cafes and beautiful outdoor spaces. It is a highly innovative building, with gentle slopes and terraces, undulating around a series of internal ʻpatiosʼ, with almost invisible supports for its complex curving roof, which required completely new methods of construction." http://rolexlearningcenter.epfl.ch/

Flickr photostream March, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

U. of Calgary - Information Commons to Learning Commons

U. of Calgary's Information Commons was an exemplary innovation when it opened in August, 1999. (The original website is archived at: http://www.ucalgary.ca/IR/infocommons/)

On December 24, the original Information Commons in McKimmie Library will close, to be reborn on January 3, 2011 as the Learning Commons in the new Taylor Family Digital Library, known as TFDL.

Susan Beatty, Information Commons Head at McKimmie, co-wrote a wonderfully descriptive account of the development of the IC in her paper "Collaboration in an Information Commons: key elements for successful support of eliteracy."  The paper also points the way to an expanded, broadly conceived gathering of academic support services that will make up the new Learning Commons in the TFDL.

A fuller description of the TFDL by Tom Hickerson, Calgary's Vice Provost, Libraries and Cultural Resources, and University Librarian, is in the video archive of his presentation at OCLC's Distinguished Seminar Series.  The presentation is entitled "Convergence of Knowledge and Culture: Calgary's Design for the Future."