Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Update: U of Denver's Penrose Library Academic Commons

The Anderson Academic Commons project was completed in March, 2013. "The Commons is the campus centerpiece for collaborative, technology-infused teaching, learning and engagement."

Monday, December 19, 2011

Information Commons Discussion Group Midwinter meeting

Passing along this post from Rudy Leon, convener of ACRL's InfoCommons Discussion Group, regarding the virtual session planned for ALA Midwinter on January 11, 2012:

Hello all,
For Midwinter this year, the InfoCommons Discussion group will be meeting virtually. We're very excited to try this out. We've reserved an iLinc room via ALA, and will meet January 11 2012, 1-2:30 pm Central Time. The log-in instructions are below, and on the Connect space.

Our Midwinter discussion will continue the assessment conversation we had at Annual 2011. Don Beagle will kick off our meeting with a 20-minute presentation based on his EDUCAUSE report, "From Learning Commons to Learning Outcomes." This report was posted on Sept 27 by the EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research (ECAR), and within 6 weeks had become the #1 most-downloaded ECAR research bulletin of 2011. Don's comments will also go beyond the ECAR report to look in more detail at 1) recent research into cultural impacts on user expectations of service delivery (especially pertinent to "Affect of Service" as measured by LibQUAL+® , and 2) recent research by Derek Rodriguez into library impacts on student outcomes in capstone courses, and how this might be adapted for Commons model assessment.

I'd like to extend this invitation to all of you: if you have information about service assessment at your Commons that you would like to share, please feel free to put together a PowerPoint slide or two and send that to Rudy Leon by January 9. Because of the nature of iLinc, I will need to upload slides ahead of time. Slides are not necessary if you want to participate, or contribute! But if you do have something visual you want to share, we have the opportunity to do so.

We've scheduled 70 minutes for discussion following Don's presentation. I'm very excited about this, and hope you are as well.

Information Commons Student Assistant Program at Butler U.

Butler U. (Indianapolis) has a unique model for what they call the Information Commons. It's a collaboration between the Libraries and the Center for Academic Technologies and it is staffed by "highly trained student staff members."

As described on the IC website: "The program intends to provide Butler students with research and academic technology support directly connected to course activities, student learning outcomes and pedagogical innovations through highly trained student staff members. Information Commons student staff members are trained in library research methods, academic technology tools, and consultation skills. They provide support for students, faculty and staff at the Center for Academic Technology and the Irwin Library through in-class and evening training sessions and 1:1 consultations." http://bit.ly/uksfOc

Two Butler administrators, Julianne Miranda, Senior Director of Butler's Center for Academic Technologies, and Sally Neal, Associate Dean for Public Services, will present "Information Commons Student Assistant Program: Meeting a Campus's Classroom Technology and Information Literacy Needs Anywhere, Anytime" at the EDUCAUSE Midwest Regional Conference in Chicago,on Tuesday, March 27. 2012. http://bit.ly/s9nuQq

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Building St. Mary's Learning Commons

Michael Chen (Executive Director, Academic Technology) posted a Prezi visual which does a very nice job of explaining the concept and the process that will result in a new learning commons at St. Mary's University in San Antonio TX.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

GWU Gelman Library Renovation - Project Director

Update to an earlier post.  George Washington U. has advertised for a Project Director (Learning Commons and Renovation) to manage the $16M project.  Seems to be a permanent position.  "PMP certification is a big plus."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

From Learning Commons to Learning Outcomes: Assessing Collaborative Services and Spaces

Don Beagle, who wrote an early, influential article* and a book** on the information commons, is the author of an ECAR Research Bulletin reviewing six recent user studies of the commons model. http://bit.ly/oWxK4Y

From the abstract on the EDUCAUSE website: "While the studies used varying methodologies, their cumulative results indicate that the commons model cannot be evaluated by focusing only on design aspects of “learning spaces” or perceptions of “library as place.” These features must be balanced by qualitative reviews of service effectiveness and quantitative measures of service delivery. This bulletin concludes with a consideration of change theory as a possible means to extend service evaluations and spatial appraisals to assessments of learning outcomes." http://bit.ly/oWxK4Y

If your college or university is not a member of EDUCAUSE, maybe you should suggest joining.

*"Conceptualizing an Information Commons," Journal of Academic Librarianship 25, no.2. (March 1999): 82-89.
**The Information Commons Handbook, Neal-Schuman, 2006.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

On the Horizon - Canadian Learning Commons Conference

New Media, New Fluencies and Life Skills Development:  Preparing Learners for the 21st Century

We invite program submissions for the 6th Canadian Learning Commons Conference, May 7 - 9, 2012 to be held at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Trend Continues - Anne Arundel CC Library and Student Success Center

Truxal Library at Anne Arundel Community College (MD), built in 1967, is currently undergoing a major renovation, expansion and reconfiguration as a combined library and student success center -- a mix of tutoring, computer commons, distance learning and other multifunctional rooms. 

The new facility's infrastructure will be completely redesigned for efficiency and reduced energy costs.  LEED Silver certification is the goal.  See the full list of building features: http://bit.ly/n7uM1U

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

In the Works - U. of Tennessee, Chattanooga

January 2015 is the target date for the new library at U. Tennessee, Chattanooga. Planning began in late 2007 and state funding ($48m) was recently secured.  Construction has begun.

Features include:
24/7 study space
Seating for 2,100
Information Commons with 200+ computers
40 group study room (3 sizes) 
7 classrooms
Media lab
Special Collections 

Building partners: Ctr for Advisement and Student Success, IT Division, Teaching Resource Ctr, Southern Writers, Writing Ctr.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Clough Commons at Georgia Tech: Library + Academic Support Services

A few years ago there was a flurry of activity, and some controversy, surrounding the merger of academic libraries with their campus IT organizations.  EDUCAUSE even has a list of 35 resources on the topic.  In some cases the merger held; in others it reverted to the original state: separate and (relatively) equal.

Recent developments involve a different kind of merger or bundling of services under one roof, usually the library's.  These often started as "information commons" and grew or evolved into a medley of academic support services and became known as "learning commons" or "knowledge commons." The services might include tutoring, writing lab, media lab, academic adivising, first year experience, and lots of space for social studying, group work, collaborative learning.  It's not just a computer lab in the library.

One of the most recent is the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons at Georgia Tech.  It is a 24/7 facility that includes many of the services listed above.  It is located alongside the university library and has been "integrated" into the library organization, according to Dean of Libraries, Catherine Murray-Rust:
"At the end of fall 2010 semester, Provost Rafael Bras asked me and my colleagues to integrate the G. Wayne Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons with the Library. The Library was a logical choice for this important effort, not only because Library faculty and staff have many years of experience managing large academic spaces that service the entire campus, but also because many of the innovations that are featured in Clough Commons were first tested in the Library."  Photos of construction and opening day.

A few more examples of this kind of organizational bundling: Seattle U. Learning CommonsOberlin College's Academic CommonsCal Poly's Library and Academic Center.  

Monday, October 3, 2011

"Uncommon Learning in the Information Commons" Conference Report

“Uncommon Learning in the Information Commons” was the theme of the  Ohio Private Academic Libraries 2011 Annual Conference last August.  Chad Boeninger, reference librarian at Alden Library, Ohio U., was a presenter, and he has a good summary of all the presentations at his blog Library Voice.   http://tinyurl.com/69gu9je

Some quotes to whet your appetite:

"Information Commons is not just about the building.  With the changing of the library environment, student expectations of service will change."

"Someone asked ... about the noise level in Learning Commons environments... When the floor is packed with people, all of the voices together make a nice “hum” that drowns out individual voices pretty well."

"We no longer have a food policy. Long story short, if you don’t have a food policy to enforce, then you can’t get in trouble with custodial services for not enforcing your food policy."

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Old Dominion's Learning Commons Opens

The Learning Commons at Old Dominion U.'s Perry Library opened in September, 2011.  It is a collaborative effort involving University Libraries, Computing and Commuication Services and Academic Enhancement.  See the press release from 9/13/11 or my earlier post for details.

Monday, September 19, 2011

LEED Gold Certification for Georgia Gwinnett College Library

"The 90,000 square-foot Library and Learning Center opened its doors in the fall of 2010. It has a capacity for 300,000 volumes. There are 37 study rooms that can be used for group and project work. The Library and Learning Center houses the Academic Enhancement Center, Quiet Reading Room, Heritage Lecture Room and the Center for Teaching Excellence. Additionally, Jazzman's Cafe is located on the main floor and serves light refreshments." http://www.ggc.edu/library/

"The building’s centerpiece is a three-story atrium that houses the Information Commons, an open study area providing a variety of furnishings for individual or group study. The atrium’s curtain wall provides impressive views to and from the central campus. Balconies and windows overlook the expansive atrium area from upper level floors." http://bit.ly/oHt5HK

"GGC's Library is the first academic library in Georgia to achieve LEED Gold certification, and it is one of only seven Gold-certified academic libraries in the U.S."

The Klarchek Information Commons at Loyola U., Chicago has LEED Silver. For more LEED libraries, check out the Green Libraries Directory, last updated April, 2010.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"The Best Learning and Collaborative Space in the Country"

The Hunt Library, now under construction on the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University, has certainly set a goal for itself.

From the Vision Statement: "The James B. Hunt Jr. Library will be a beautiful and inspiring “signature” building that embodies the essence of Centennial Campus as a community built around knowledge. Located on the academic oval, this iconic building will be a vibrant intellectual and social forum for the campus community, showcasing the latest technologies and research achievements of the university. The timeless aspects of the library’s mission as a gateway to the world’s knowledge will be reflected in the building’s design -- forming a dynamic environment that brings diverse people and disciplines together and enables interaction, innovation, and the creation of new, nontraditional partnerships. In the design of this landmark building, NC State seeks nothing less than to create the best learning and collaborative space in the country." http://bit.ly/oBjMZJ

NC State has posted a wonderfully rich and informative set of documents, photos, videos and testimonials:

The Hunt Library - The Spirit of NC State on YouTube

Gallery of Photos and Images

Project FAQs

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Update - EDUCAUSE 2011 - Early Bird ends September 20

Updating an earlier post announcing EDUCAUSE 2011 in Philadelphia, October 18 - 21. Early Bird registration discounts end September 20.

There will be a session on the Research Commons on Wednesday October 19, 2:30pm - 3:20pm.

Presenters include Grace Chung and Lauren Ray from U of Washington, and Scott Collard and Kara Whatley of NYU.

"The NYU and University of Washington libraries simultaneously created research commons, transforming physical and virtual spaces and integrating content and technology specialists to serve 21st-century researchers. They will describe their redesign values, goals and process, user assessments, and the resulting services and spaces. Lessons learned and future interinstitutional collaborations will be discussed."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Commons Is So Last Decade" Says The Ubiquitous Librarian

Has The Information Commons worn out its welcome?

Blogger Brian Mathews (The Ubiquitous Librarian) has challenged us to dump the term (and all its variations) in favor of tried and true Library.
"Just don’t call it a Commons: building the learning boutique model" http://bit.ly/ne2I8S

He makes a convincing case. Here are some provocative quotes:

"Libraries like to be able to point to a shinny new area and say “hey look, we’re modern—we have a commons!” But I think the emphasis then becomes on the technology and furniture, (and not the activity) which could be relocated to the student center, dorm areas, or an academic building."

"At UCSB we’re not using the term commons, but instead saying that the library is evolving. Our narrative is built around the theme that scholarship has changed and will continue to change and hence we are outfitting the library to address these various needs and academic activities."

"The central question is how do we design an environment that is ideal for the experience we want to encourage? How do we amplify and optimize the use of library space? It’s easy to just buy nice tables and lots of computers, but it’s much more challenging to design a place for experiences."

I agree with everything in those quotes, and with almost everything in the post. And yet...

I think we had to use something like commons to get beyond the iconic cliche of the library as the place where books are stored and librarians sit at the reference desk waiting for someone to ask a question. We had to overcome the resistance of some traditional librarians who objected to standing that concept and image on its head. Architects got it. The IT folks got it. And eventually a critical mass of librarians got it. But it took visionary librarians like Philip Tompkins and Scott Bennett to point the way. Their idea was to bridge the boundaries of print and electronic by creating a new organizing principle, a convergence based on user need, not traditional turf. Commons seemed to signal that coming together of service modes. And it is an evolutionary concept. As Tompkins told us during a consultation for our 1999 renovation: "The library builds the commons, then cedes it to the college. The commons becomes what the community needs."

It may be that the academic library has evolved to the point that our clients expect the library to be an "academic amusement park." (Brian's phrase) The open computer lab has evolved into a full spectrum academic support center. Witness the transformation of U. of Calgary's Information Commons to Taylor Family Digital Library. Or Goucher College's Athenaeum.

There are some exciting new takes on the evolution of the library as a learning environment, even, as Brian suggests, moving the commons concept out of the library and into places like the dorms. I've tried to flag some of those on this blog.

It's a great time to be in this business. To use a phrase that Flannery O'Connor borrowed from Teilhard de Chardin, "everything that rises must converge." What better place for that convergence than The Library?

Thanks to Carolyn Cunningham, Information Commons at U. Texas - San Antonio for alerting me to Brian's blog.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Any Day Now - Montana State U. Library Commons

Services that had been temporarily relocated are in their new homes and Montana State University will soon celebrate the opening of The Library Commons at Renne Library. Here's the website's description of features:

--Flexible, comfortable furniture to accommodate both individual and group study
--Partially enclosed group study spaces
--Additional computer seating with improved workspaces
--Increased power outlets for easy access and convenient use
--Reconfiguration of key library service points for optimal ease of use
--Expert assistance for research needs and document creation


Friday, August 12, 2011

Favorite Commons Photos

In no particular order, here are some photos that, to my eye, best convey the Commons experience.

Indiana U., Wells Library. Collaborative, active learning. Unposed. Love the open book next to the computer.

U. of Arizona, Information Commons. Informal, collaborative. Bi-level. Glass wall for group study. Mature white-haired guy in center, working quietly in the midst.

U.N.C. Asheville, Collaborative Learning Commons
Large monitor for group work, print materials nearby.

Daemen College, Research and Information Commons
3-story atrium, variety of work spaces, video wall, books on far perimeter, red chairs for accent.

Queen's U. Ontario, Learning Commons
One of the first things you do in a Commons is have a party. Invite the suits.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

George Washington U. Gelman Library Renovation

GWU has approved a $16 million plan for renovating the entrance level of Gelman Library. The plan includes "a learning commons...featuring group study spaces with wireless technology and laptop bars."

Check this site for additional updates and information

The Library Goes Where the Students Are

Is this the new trend: librarians set up shop in dorms?

Earlier this year, Drexel U. opened the Library Learning Terrace "in the heart of the residence halls." And Jenny Dale presented at ACRL Philadelphia on her experience as a librarian embedded in the living learning community in a dorm at UNC-Greensboro.

Now U. of Oregon is looking for "a forward-thinking, collaborative and service-oriented colleague for the newly-established position of Undergraduate Services Librarian and manager of the East Campus Residence Hall Library and Learning Commons."

It's a real Johannes factotum job: "Reporting to the Director of Instruction and Campus Partnerships, the Undergraduate Services Librarian will provide direct user services in areas of teaching, research, outreach, technology, programs, and events in a welcoming and intellectually engaging learning environment. Active collaboration with the residence hall's live-in scholar and Resident Complex Director is expected. The incumbent will teach in library instructional programs, including First Year Experience and library credit courses, and develop customized outreach and instruction programs as needed. As manager of the Library and Learning Commons facility, the incumbent will mentor and supervise student employees, maintain the LLC web presence, and market library services and resources to residential students and other undergraduates using multiple channels, including web and social media platforms. The librarian will oversee computing and presentation technologies in the ECRH in close partnership with Library Systems and the Center for Media and Educational Technologies. The incumbent's work schedule will include evening hours to maximize availability to students and participation in events sponsored by the libraries and other academic partners."

And when do I sleep?

Deadline for applications: September 9, 2011
Expected start: January 2012
Facility due to open Fall 2012

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Zaha Hadid Designs a Library

Currently under construction in Vienna, Zaha Hadid's first academic library building will be the centerpiece of the new campus at Wirtschafts Universitat Wien (Vienna University of Economics and Business).

Known as the Library and Learning Center, it includes services and facilities that might be called an academic commons: "workplaces, lounges and cloakrooms, library, a language laboratory, training classrooms, administration offices, study services and central supporting services, copy shop, book shop, data center, cafeteria, event area, clubroom and auditorium."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Light Show - Hunt Library, Carnegie Mellon

This has nothing to do with the usual business of this blog, but CMU has made the Hunt Library a real eye-catcher. Read the article in the July, 2011 issue of C&RLNews.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

U. California - Berkeley Launches Major Campaign for Renovation of Moffitt Library

It's been a long haul since August, 2006 when U. Cal - Berkeley Library Administration began discussing a capital campaign for the University Libraries.  (See the 10-page timeline tracking the project to a completion date of September, 2015).  EHDD Architecture (San Francisco) has completed the design phase of the $50 million project and fund-raising has begun.

Moffitt is a five-story undergraduate library in the center of the Berkeley campus.  When completed the "revitalization" will be most evident in the distinctive character of each level.

At the top or 5th floor is the Quiet Commons - "individual and group seating zoned for quiet study, focus and reflection."

The 4th floor is the Collaboration Commons - "technology-enhanced areas for discussion and team-based learning."

3rd floor is Community Crossing - "exhibits, cafe, new books lounge and portal to Gardner Library stacks.

2nd floor is Computing and Media Commons - "computing, media and guided learning labs."

Ground floor will house classrooms and staff work areas.

As you can imagine, the project has involved an army of participants who have produced a ton of documents and posted a trove of web sites.  Here are links to a few:

Project wiki: overview, planning history, leadership and design team

Interactive floor plans

fiat lux, Fall 2009  Library newsletter outlines the major themes of the project: active and social learning; peace and quiet; technology-rich, going green.

Library Teaching and Learning Spaces Task Force - Final Report, 2007.

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Proof of Concept" Used for Academic Commons at Emory U.'s Oxford College

Emory University's original campus was in the village of Oxford, Georgia, east of Atlanta. It is now home to Emory's Oxford College, a two-year, liberal arts program with an emphasis on collaborative learning and team projects. As the college developed plans to expand and renovate a 40 year-old library, Kitty McNeill, College Librarian, and Stephen Bowen, Dean of the College, used "proof of concept" or prototyping to introduce stakeholders and potential donors to what the new Library Academic Commons would become. By renovating a portion of the existing building as a learning commons, the college community now has "a working model of the learning environment that will be at the heart of the new Library Academic Commons."

More details in the Emory Report.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

On the Horizon - EDUCAUSE Session on the Research Commons

EDUCAUSE Annual Conference will be October 18 - 21 in Philadelphia. Lauren Ray, Research Commons and Educational Outreach Services Librarian at U. of Washington, will present "Creating the Research Commons: The New York University and University of Washington Experience" on Wednesday, October 19. Here's the description from the conference program:
"The NYU and University of Washington libraries simultaneously created research commons, transforming physical and virtual spaces and integrating content and technology specialists to serve 21st-century researchers. They will describe their redesign values, goals and process, user assessments, and the resulting services and spaces. Lessons learned and future interinstitutional collaborations will be discussed."

NYU Research Commons

U. Washington Research Commons

You can get an idea of what Lauren will be presenting if you visit her blog. She has been posting since the Research Commons was in design phase in Summer 2010. Includes photos and a report on the ongoing assessment of the Commons.
Or you can see Betsy Wilson's ppt from the ALA/ALCTS Midwinter 2011 talk: "Parallel Library Universes: A Case for Feverish Pink Paint and Virtual Vortexes." Betsy is Dean of University Libraries at the University of Washington.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

AIA/ALA 2011 Library Building Awards

Two academic libraries are recipients of the biennial Library Building Awards from the American Institute of Architects and ALA's Library Administration and Management Association.

Ohio State University's William Oxley Thompson Library

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Library, Saudi Arabia

An interesting coincidence: Joseph Branin, Director of KAUST Library, was Director of Libraries at Ohio State U., 2000 - 2009. Branin was the subject of Library Journal's "A Day in the Life Series" in 2007 while he was overseeing the $106 million renovation of Thompson Library. (http://bit.ly/kxxVNp)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Library Learning Terrace at Drexel U.

The Chronicle of Higher Education ran a long piece last week titled "Tomorrow's Academic Libraries: Maybe Even Some Books," featuring Drexel University's Library Learning Terrace, a bookless, flexible space for study and collaborative work. The Learning Terrace, located in the midst of the residence halls on the Philadelphia campus, turns the Learning Commons concept around, putting the services and technology, if not the collections, where the students are.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Required Reading - Learning Commons Overview

It's a couple years old now, but Mark Robertson's five-page overview titled 21st Century Learning Space is a great place to start your reading if you are about to propose or develop a learning commons on your campus. Robertson is Associate University Librarian, Information Services, York University.

York opened Phase One of the Learning Commons in October, 2010 as an integrated service including support for writing, learning skills, research assistance and career services.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

UPDATE Brody Learning Commons at Johns Hopkins U.

"The newest of the Sheridan Libraries, the Brody Learning Commons opened in August 2012. Connected to the Eisenhower Library on all floors, the Commons is open 24/7 and features a large quiet reading room, 16 group study rooms, teaching and seminar rooms, and a café. The Commons is also home to the Department of Special Collections and the Department of Conservation and Preservation." 

Named for a former JHU president, Brody Learning Commons will open in July 2012 as an extension to the Milton S. Eisenhower Library. Designed by Sheply, Bullfinch, Richardson and Abbott to LEED silver certification, it will feature group study rooms, smart technology classrooms, atrium and cafe. The Rare Books and Conservation/Preservation departments will also get new research facilities and conservation labs.

Friday, April 22, 2011

7 Things You Should Know

EDUCAUSE has been running a series of briefs on emerging learning technologies.  The latest is 7 Things You Should Know About the Modern Learning Commons.  Authors are Joan Lippincott (Coalition for Networked Information) and Stacey Greenwell (U. of Kentucky).  Stacey was Head of the Information Commons (aka The Hub) at U.K. before she was promoted to Assoc. Dean for Academic Affairs and Research.  Her Uncommon Commons blog has tons of good ideas for innovative services and promoting same.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

University of Michigan - Tech Deck

University of Michigan - Tech Deck
Originally uploaded by McEntegart Library

U. of Michigan's Shapiro Undergrad Library styles its collaborative tech learning space as The Tech Deck, specializing in providing "you and your group with both the equipment and the expert and friendly assistance you need to create effective and media-rich class and group projects."

Thursday, March 31, 2011

U. Denver - Penrose Library Plans for Academic Commons

Still in the planning stages, the Academic Commons at Penrose Library project is gathering feedback and ideas from the community through a variety of surveys and focus groups. Check the progress on the project blog. Construction should start mid-July, 2011, with a timeline of 18-24 months to completion.

From the project's FAQ:
"Some highlights of the new building project include:
>Increased seating on the upper and lower levels
>Addition of deep quiet study areas
>More group study rooms in a variety of sizes
>ADA compliant book stacks and elevators
>Enhanced technology in all areas
>A new multimedia software support service
>A larger café with patio seating
>An academic events space
>Increased number of power outlets throughout the building
>Increased natural light
>Energy efficient lighting and mechanical systems"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Terrapin Learning Commons at U. Maryland, College Park

"Bigger than 3 basketball courts."

The 2nd floor of McKeldin Library is home to the new Terrapin Learning Commons.

And the university's HR website is advertising for someone to provide "leadership and vision in developing and
expanding the university’s new learning commons into a series of premier learning spaces for students and a showcase for the campus." http://bit.ly/gTEdZs

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Renovation/Expansion at San Joaquin Delta College

Belated congratulations to the folks at Goleman Library for the renovation celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on December 7, 2010.

Old Dominion U. Seeking Learning Commons Manager

The Norfolk, VA institution seems to be doing it right.  Early in the planning for an expansion of Perry Library, the learning commons concept was developed, tested and marketed through a series of campus presentations, forums and surveys.  A Learning Commons Governance Team was formed in 2009 made up of representatives from University Libraries, Computing Services and University College, which will staff the Student Success Center in the new building.  ODU is advertising for Learning Commons Manager to oversee "the daily operations, services and staffing" of the LC.   You can follow the Wiki that documents the progress of the project, or read the fairly detailed press release from April, 2010.  Projected completion date is October, 2011.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

UMKC Renovation Nears Completion

Miller Nichols Library at U. of Missouri Kansas City was an early and successful Information Commons.  It opened in October, 2000.  It is now part of a re-designed multi-purpose complex that integrates the Library and the New Student Union.  Details can be found on the project's blog.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Yale Gets Ready for 1st Info Commons

The Yale Daily News reported last week on the plan to merge two departmental libraries and create the first "info commons" on the New Haven campus.

Highlights gleaned from the article:
  • 200,000 volumes from the Social Science Library and the Kline Science Library have been moved to a storage facility in Hamden, CT.
  • Kline Science Library will move into the Social Science Library while Kline is remodeled.  
  • Following renovation the two libraries and the Social Science Research ITS StatLab will move into the remodeled Kline Library, which will be renamed the Center for Science and Social Science Information.
  • The Social Science Library building will be demolished to make room for new residential colleges.
The merger is viewed as an opportunity to combine "lab technology, library volumes, and study and meeting spaces... interspersed throughout the new space to encourage cross-field collaboration.

Go to UPDATE: January 11, 2012

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Nike Honors Joe Paterno with $400K Gift to Support Penn State's Knowledge Commons

UPDATE (March 23, 2011) PSU projects put on hold Centre Daily Times of State College, PA reports that the Knowledge Commons expansion is one of several projects stalled by the budget crisis and the governor's proposed 50% cut to the Penn State subsidy.

Celebrating Joe Paterno's 400th victory as football coach, Nike will donate $400,000 toward the completion of the Tombros/McWhirter Knowledge Commons which has been in the works since 2008 when a Media Commons studio opened in Pattee Library.

According to the press release, "the Knowledge Commons will be a federation of services and repurposed physical spaces that will facilitate information discovery, collaborative learning, and knowledge building with a focus on undergraduates."

 The multifunctional Knowledge Commons will evolve over the next two years. See the floor plan and descriptions of the various services.

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