Commons 2.0 – Where’s the Writing Room?

The latest edition of EDUCAUSE QUARTERLY (Number 4, 2007) includes an article called Commons 2.0: Library Spaces Designed for Collaborative Learning. The article is valuable because it reinforces for the higher ed community what librarians have been saying for a decade now about space planning for the library.  It talks about human-centered design and the shift towards problem-based learning. The article does a good job of defining the Information Commons of the future, outlining five guiding principles: open, free, comfortable, inspiring, and practical.

What I missed seeing here was the expansion of this concept to include the addition of learning support services such as tutoring that would have transformed the envisioned space into a true Learning Commons as defined in previous posts. Canadian libraries are at the forefront of this trend, which I find very promising. For an example of a Learning Commons 2.0, take a look at this one at McMaster University.

Library Information Commons is Up and Running

Happy Labor Day Weekend. Here is a picture of the almost finished product. We are still going to order signs and are still waiting on new desk chairs, but you get the picture. So far, the LIC has been met with positive response!

In addition to the physical changes, we are working to make administrative changes as well. Together with staff from Information Technology Services and First-Year Programs, we have formed the Library Information Commons Steering Committee. This group is working on issues regarding cross-training of staff, communication amongst units, and setting learning objectives for interactions with students. Two of our faculty members will be presenting on this last initiative at the CAL Conference in November.

LIC North

LIC South and FY Advisors

Come up and see us!

Rhonda

Picture of Study Carrel

For everyone who expressed interest in seeing pictures of the tables and study carrels, here is a photo of the study carrel. Unfortunately, the 3 x 5 tables are already gone to someone on our campus. I’m sorry, I know those were really in demand!

The carrels are single sided with an upright back that can be placed flush against a wall. Each carrel is 24” deep by approximately 40” wide. They do not have sides. As you can see, the chairs have black plastic molded backs and metal legs with upholstered seats in a variety of colors. They are in fairly good shape and are actually quite comfortable to sit in.

Please respond by email to rhonda.gonzales@colostate-pueblo.edu if you are interested in carrels or chairs that you can come and pick up.

Library Carrell

Library Information Commons is Almost Here

For those of you who have seen our library before, here’s a picture of what we’ve been doing lately. (And one of the reasons I’ve been quiet on the blogging front.)

CSU-Pueblo Library 2nd FloorCSU-Pueblo Library 2nd Floor

The new Library Information Commons will include group presentation rooms, laptop study tables, group and individual study areas, the reference collection and library classroom, and the First-Year Student Center.

Come by in a few weeks and see us!

Rhonda

A Commons By Any Other Name …

Earlier this week on the ACRLog, StevenB posted a question about the difference between the Information Commons and the Learning Commons. He says he used to understand the difference, which he describes below. But now he is not so sure. My understanding of the difference is exactly as he describes below, so I’m not sure what the confusion is all about? Maybe, he is really questioning the perceived value of the Learning Commons?

Steven, do you think their is no value in the added academic support services that a Learning Commons implies?

Others who have implemented a true Learning Commons in your library, do you find students take advantage of the added services? Is there more serendipity? Do students come in for tutoring and stay to work on a computer? Or do students working on a project stumble on to the writing center? These are the sorts of consequences I would expect as a result of co-locating services near each other.

If this is not the outcome, I’d like to know because we are currently planning for our new library complete with both Information Commons and Learning Commons. Or maybe it’s an Information Commons and Learning Center? Of course it’s all the Library!

Seekin’ An Answer ‘Bout The Commons
“The learning commons on the other hand had grander visions. The big difference is in “co-located services”. The learning happens at the learning commons because multiple academic support services are located there; tutoring, the writing center, educational technology and others are invited to share space in the learning commons or they have scheduled hours there.”