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.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Salem State University: Library and Learning Commons

Salem State University (MA) Library and Learning Commons, which opened in 2013, "brings together the Center for Academic Excellence, academic advising, TRIO programs, disabilities services, the Writing Center, and the honors program, and recognizes the synergy between and among these academic services and the library."

Hudson Valley CC Learning Commons

The Marvin Library Learning Commons at Hudson Valley CC (Troy, NY) provides a full array of research and academic support services.  In addition to the Library and Instructional Media Center:
  • Computer Learning Center (CLC)
    Learning Assistance Center (LAC)
  • Learning Disabilities Services (LDS)
    Writing and Research Center (WC)
  • Collegiate Academic Support Program (CASP)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Information Commons - The Future Is Now

“Information Commons: The Future is Now” 
A brief (7 pages) overview of the Information Commons phenomenon and some pointed lessons learned at Loyola U. Klarchek Infomation Commons by Robert A. Seal, Dean of University Libraries, Loyola University Chicago 

Conference paper presented at “Change and Challenge: Redefine the Future of Academic Libraries,”
Peking University Libraries, Beijing, China
November 5, 2012 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Learning Studio at U. Kansas

The Learning Studio at KU's Anschutz Library is an integrated set of academic support services, including writing, tutoring, technology and information/research.  See the Flickr set.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Libraries as Spaces for Teaching, Learning and Research: The Learning Commons Model

Uploaded to YouTube by Wellesley College

"The library has been central to the learning process at Wellesley since its inception. The library's collections and services have evolved over time as the curriculum, pedagogy and technologies have advanced, but serving as a learning center has always been central to its role. As we consider anew the factors driving change in higher education and scholarship we see a set of new learning and teaching spaces, located in a renewed library environment that brings together the student, the teacher, the resources, the services and the specialist staff in engaging, effective and highly collaborative ways. What does the Wellesley Library look like in 2015 or in 2020?"

Featured speakers: Gene Spencer, Gene Spencer Consulting and Michael Nieminen and Natalie Rebuck, Kliment Halsband Architects