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Library design, learning spaces and academic literacy

Jill Beard (Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK)
Penny Dale (Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 23 November 2010




To acquire academic literacy students need library buildings that take account of “what the student does”, changing learning styles and preparation for employment in a digital world. Equally as academic staff develop innovative e‐learning activities, library spaces need to accommodate new learning opportunities. This paper aims to consider how the design of library buildings contributes to a complex and evolving range of academic literacies and emerging pedagogical frameworks. The paper also seeks to consider the contribution these literacies make to the experience of students reading for a degree in an increasingly digital environment.


The paper draws on the experience at Bournemouth University, where a higher education academy‐funded project accelerated the introduction of new technologies into learning and teaching frameworks. A new library building, The Sir Michael Cobham Library, enabled the creation of learning spaces that are flexible and responsive to the changing needs of users.


Innovative spaces and evolving pedagogies demand different levels of academic literacy to enable students to succeed in physical and digital environments.


This reflective review adds new dimensions to the body of knowledge underpinning both the study of learning spaces and academic literacy.



Beard, J. and Dale, P. (2010), "Library design, learning spaces and academic literacy", New Library World, Vol. 111 No. 11/12, pp. 480-492.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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