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Co-working and innovation: new concepts for academic libraries and learning centres

Joachim Schopfel (GERiiCO, University of Lille 3, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France)
Julien Roche (Academic Library, University of Lille 1, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France)
Gilles Hubert (Department of Information and Document Sciences, University of Lille 3, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 12 January 2015




The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the debate on the development of academic libraries, by the introduction of the concepts of co-working and innovation to the learning centres.


The paper builds on published case studies and French initiatives.


The proposal of this paper is that the academic library can meet its social responsibility on the campus and in society by drawing on the model of the co-working spaces and communities, by the support of innovation and the transfer of knowledge to the world of work. Moreover, the proposal is to include these new functions into the concept of learning centre, i.e. to develop the work-related aspects of the learning centre.

Research limitations/implications

Future research on academic libraries should focus on social responsibility and their contribution not only to students’ academic success but also to students’ employability and to the transfer of technology.

Practical implications

The paper contributes to the development and marketing of new academic library services and to its strategic positioning on the campus.


Co-working and innovation are relatively new but promising concepts for academic libraries. Except for some recent case studies, conceptual papers are still missing that combine empirical experience with a theoretical approach.



The authors acknowledge Danuta Nitecki from Drexel University Libraries for the helpful discussion and advice.


Schopfel, J., Roche, J. and Hubert, G. (2015), "Co-working and innovation: new concepts for academic libraries and learning centres", New Library World, Vol. 116 No. 1/2, pp. 67-78.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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