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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2007

Regina Lee Roberts

Libraries are exploring the meaning of the “information commons” and have responded to the technological needs of the diversity of digital access trends. The purpose of…

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2763

Abstract

Purpose

Libraries are exploring the meaning of the “information commons” and have responded to the technological needs of the diversity of digital access trends. The purpose of this conceptual article is to explore the possibilities of the next step of developing dynamic “learning commons” using examples of projects and ideas presented by librarians in the field.

Design/methodology/approach

The “learning commons” model has the potential to be a laboratory for students, librarians and faculty. It is a collaboration space and requires partnerships and cooperation across disciplines. Ideas about user behavior and types of projects to be explored are included.

Findings

Funding for learning commons is linked to measured outcomes. The role of the librarian changes to include advocacy and project planning.

Practical implications

This paper demonstrates that the change in library service via the learning commons concept requires planning, interdisciplinary collaboration and a certain amount of risk taking.

Originality/value

This paper is useful for librarians who are designing and/or implementing “learning commons” spaces and concepts into their libraries and library services.

Details

Library Review, vol. 56 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Book part
Publication date: 5 June 2011

Catherine Closet-Crane

The professional discourse on academic library planning and design is examined. A critical realist philosophical stance and a constructionist perspective constitute the…

Abstract

The professional discourse on academic library planning and design is examined. A critical realist philosophical stance and a constructionist perspective constitute the theoretical framework that, paired with Fairclough's methodology for critical discourse analysis, is used to examine the constitution of interpretative repertoires and of a discourse constructing the academic library as a learning place. The information commons, learning commons, and library designed for learning repertoires are described and the effects of discursive activity are analyzed. Three types of effects are presented: (1) the production by the LIS community of discourse on academic libraries of a sizable body of literature on the information commons and on the learning commons, (2) the construction of new types of libraries on the commons model proposed by Beagle, and (3) the metaphorization of the library as business. The study concludes that the existing discourse takes a facilities management perspective dominated by concerns with technology, equipment, and space requirements that does not address the physical, psychological, and environmental qualities of library space design. Consequently, it is suggested that architectural programming techniques should be used in library planning and design that consider the architectural features and environmental design factors contributing to the making of a place where learning is facilitated.

Details

Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-014-8

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2009

Tim Held

This bibliography aims to give citations and annotations for a core selection of sources on the information and learning commons trend in academic libraries.

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2253

Abstract

Purpose

This bibliography aims to give citations and annotations for a core selection of sources on the information and learning commons trend in academic libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

Articles, books, and web sites relevant to this topic were found in the Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts database; Library Literature Index; WorldCat; and on the internet. Sources were chosen that contribute to an overview of the concepts or cover practical considerations in implementation.

Findings

Libraries are developing best practices as they experiment with learner‐centered service models, but they apply these best practices differently according to their unique needs. Early implementations focus on technology and access, while later implementations focus on more collaborations surrounding learner‐centered pedagogies.

Research limitations/implications

This bibliography selects from English language books, web sites, and peer reviewed journals about US, British, Canadian, and Oceania academic libraries, large and small.

Originality/value

This survey of the literature will help librarians and administrators understand the theoretical trends and collaboration that influence how libraries can change service, space, and technology to meet emerging needs.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2007

Mary Ellen Spencer

This paper seeks to document and provide detailed information about physical space, technology resources and the service model for the NCSU Libraries' Learning Commons

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2118

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to document and provide detailed information about physical space, technology resources and the service model for the NCSU Libraries' Learning Commons (LC). The LC was scheduled to open on March 12, 2007 and will be a state‐of‐the‐art facility. The objective is to share information and best practices with academic libraries developing their own Commons.

Design/methodology/approach

The article includes a brief overview of the East Wing Renovations Project at the D.H. Hill Library as well as a profile of and interview with Joe Williams, Director of the Learning Commons at the NCSU Libraries.

Findings

Creative design of space, technology resources and services makes academic libraries central to the learning and research process.

Research limitations/implications

The piece is representative of one library only.

Practical implications

The article will encourage academic libraries to rethink their role in the learning process. The piece also provides practical information about technology trends in academic libraries and will be of particular use to libraries that are planning renovations projects.

Originality/value

The piece documents the creation of an innovative Learning Commons by a leading academic research library.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Cindy Pierard and Sever Bordeianu

This paper aims to explore the changing role of the reference collection in learning commons at Association of Research Libraries (ARL) member libraries.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the changing role of the reference collection in learning commons at Association of Research Libraries (ARL) member libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

A 15-question survey was sent to managers at academic research libraries with membership in the ARL. Respondents were asked about their learning commons and reference collections. To increase the sample size, the researchers conducted phone interviews with a random sample of individuals from the same target population, utilizing the same questions and generated additional results.

Findings

Most respondents had or were planning learning commons for their libraries. The role of reference collections varied. Of those who had retained a print reference collection, the majority believed them to be little-used. The researchers believe this may signal an end to a formerly cherished idea: the primacy of the reference collection within a library learning space.

Research limitations/implications

This study involved a random sample of public service managers at North American ARL academic libraries. While the sample is believed to be representative of the broader population, findings may not be generalizable to all ARL libraries or to other academic libraries.

Originality/value

Many papers have been written about information or learning commons spaces and their distinctive elements. Others have discussed the changing role of reference collections. This paper is unique in examining the changing role of the reference collection within learning commons spaces.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 44 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2008

Mary M. Somerville and Lydia Collins

Information commons were introduced into libraries in the early 1990s. Now universities are building library learning commons and campus learning spaces. This paper sets…

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5159

Abstract

Purpose

Information commons were introduced into libraries in the early 1990s. Now universities are building library learning commons and campus learning spaces. This paper sets out to present a participatory library (re)design approach for collaborative planning “for and with” faculty teachers, student learners, and campus stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

Collaborative design (co‐design) employs user‐centric investigations to produce products, applications, and environments aimed at advancing learning, sustaining communication, and building relationships. Examples from California Polytechnic State University and San José State University in California, USA, suggest the efficacy of this inclusive, learner‐centered (re)design approach for library facilities, services, and systems.

Findings

Inviting and enabling user input from the start offers a fruitful planning approach in which campus librarians, stakeholders, and beneficiaries “learn their way” to appropriate library (re)design decisions. Also, user involvement in information gathering and interpretation activities initiates the interactive relationships necessary for continuous improvement.

Practical implications

Collaborative design (co‐design) yields sustained interaction with user beneficiaries and campus stakeholders. It changes how library staff members think and what they think about, concurrent with enhancing libraries' appeal and value.

Originality/value

In development since 2002, the highly participatory design approach reflects theoretical and applied insights from researchers in Europe, Australia, and North America who have worked with US library practitioners to develop user‐centric processes for advancing organizational learning and enhancing user efficacy. Its practical application to planning for library learning commons and learning spaces contributes to the small but important literature on user‐centered library (re)design.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 18 November 2013

Lori S. Mestre

This paper aims to provide details of a collaborative campus effort that created a Media Commons at an undergraduate library at a major research university to provide…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide details of a collaborative campus effort that created a Media Commons at an undergraduate library at a major research university to provide students and faculty opportunities to experiment with emerging technologies, with expanded opportunities to learn of best practices in educational technology.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a case study that used a web survey, focus groups, usage statistics, and interviews to determine the needs and best practices for creating and maintaining the Media Commons.

Findings

Preliminary results indicate that this program provides value to students and faculty seeking to learn about and use multimedia for coursework and projects. It confirms the gap on campus for places students can go for loanable technology and consultation services in the production and editing of multimedia.

Research limitations/implications

Because the Media Commons just launched there has not had a programmatic evaluation yet to assess the impact of this program. However, based on initial feedback, suggestions for improvements in the program are included.

Practical implications

The rationale, process and efforts described in this paper can be replicated by other institutions that are interested in creating a Media Commons.

Originality/value

Although there are many articles written about Learning Commons and Information Commons, there is not much available that documents the efforts of creating a Media Commons at a library and the rationale for centralizing and freely making available campus multimedia expertise and equipment.

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2013

Diana L.H. Chan and Gabrielle K.W. Wong

Using the HKUST Learning Commons as a case study, this paper seeks to reveal a number of insights on how to effectively engage different user groups within the university.

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903

Abstract

Purpose

Using the HKUST Learning Commons as a case study, this paper seeks to reveal a number of insights on how to effectively engage different user groups within the university.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study focuses on the user‐group engagement process, highlighting the promotion plan and factors that enhance the user‐group engagement.

Findings

Two positive outcomes of the engagement were identified: the diversity of learning activities in the Learning Commons, and the elevated image of the library and librarians.

Practical implications

The experience at HKUST reported in this paper highlights the need for libraries moving to the new “commons” service model to actively promote the facilities by engaging different user groups. The process itself is a necessary component to the success of the new service and facilities.

Originality/value

The case study uses the user engagement framework to steer the promotion effort. The outcomes of the process have long‐term implications for the image and identity of libraries, and subsequently enhance the library's potential in fund raising and resource allocation.

Details

New Library World, vol. 114 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2020

Julie Mitchell and Kari Marken

Situated within the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada, the Chapman Learning Commons (CLC) has been offering…

Abstract

Situated within the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada, the Chapman Learning Commons (CLC) has been offering academic transition and learning support programs targeted to first year students since 2002. A recent addition to our suite of services is the Profs-in-Commons program which invites faculty members to conduct their office hours and host events in the CLC. The program has been an important initiative for the Learning Commons and the UBC campus community because it encourages student–faculty interaction outside of the classroom; it increases student’s attendance in course-based office hours – hosted by faculty members and it leverages the status of libraries as neutral, collaborative, and community-oriented learning spaces. The program is grounded in student engagement research consistently showing that students’ transition to university is greatly enhanced when they foster academic connections with faculty members. Profs-in-Commons also responds to research into best practices for how to support student transition to university academic environments. This chapter will elaborate on the theoretical foundations of the Profs-in-Commons program, share how the UBC-Vancouver Profs-in-Commons program was initiated and is sustained, and discuss the program’s benefits and challenges.

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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Jennifer Gunter King

– The purpose of this paper is to share a compelling example of a library’s willingness to develop and design itself as an open-ended process.

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1451

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to share a compelling example of a library’s willingness to develop and design itself as an open-ended process.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study provides a historical review of the library’s founding design, and an overview of the process and approach to redesign. The study contextualizes the library within current academic library research and literature.

Findings

This paper explores the research, engagement and planning process behind the library’s exploration of new models and service configurations. The project was an engaged, inclusive, transparent, library-led process. The commons reestablishes the library as the “nerve center” of the campus.

Originality/value

The paper offers an update to a 1969 report, and later book by Robert Taylor on the Harold F. Johnson Library at Hampshire College, designed as a prototype of an academic library. This paper will be of value to academic librarians, administrators, and historians.

Details

Library Management, vol. 37 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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