Monday, April 30, 2012

UNB-St. John Gets LEED Silver Commons

U. of New Brunswick's St. John campus opened its LEED Silver-certified Hans W. Klohn Commons in September, 2011.  Though the exterior design is reminiscent of the mid-20th century International Style, the infrastructure and the environmental systems are all 21st century.

Klohn Commons (notice that they eschewed the use of a limiting adjective such as information or learning) is home to Information Services and Systems (read Library and IT combined) and includes support services for writing, math and science.
More pictures at:

Friday, April 6, 2012

Wisconsin Collaboratory for Enhanced Learning

The acronym is WisCEL (pronounced "whistle") and it is a partnership of the UW-Madison Librariesthe Madison Initiative for Undergraduates, the College of Engineering, the College of Letters and Sciences, and the Student Information Technology Initiative.

Located in Wendt Commons (the Engineering Library) and the undergraduate College Library, the WisCELs "combine deliberate choices of physical environment including multi-use spaces, technology that supports both peer-collaboration and self-paced learning, and software which provides immediate feedback to students on assignments and exams and allows increased instructor time with students." And they are in spaces that used to be library book stacks.
In addition to large group instruction, t
utors and TAs for engineering courses are in Wendt Commons. The WisCEL in College Library offers pre-calculus and calculus assistance.

So what does this mean for the future of libraries?  Here is WisCEL's take on that topic:
"Each location offers a new perspective on the library of the future: Instead of row after row of books, there are a variety of flexible, multi-use, technology-rich spaces, including classrooms and areas for small-group discussion, tutoring and peer-to-peer learning. Rather than being the end of libraries as we know them, initiatives such as WisCEL will write an entirely new chapter in the lives of libraries as cutting-edge educational partners—vibrant commons areas that offer a suite of academic tools and services in a location students already frequent."