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Academic Library Learning Space Evolution: The Information Commons Ten Years Later

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Presenters: Charles Forrest, Martin Halbert
Presented at the Georgia Libraries Conference in Macon, GA on 10/10/2019.
Forrest and Halbert's “A Field Guide to the Information Commons” was published in 2009. The forthcoming second edition "Beyond the Information Commons" will showcase new facilities such as Learning Commons, makerspaces and digital
scholarship centers.

Published in: Education
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Academic Library Learning Space Evolution: The Information Commons Ten Years Later

  1. 1. Academic Library! Learning Space Evolution! ! The Information Commons! Ten Years Later Charles Forrest, 21st Century Libraries Consulting Martin Halbert, University of North Carolina-Greensboro Georgia Libraries Conference Macon, Georgia October 10, 2019
  2. 2. Overview Introduction Yesterday A Field Guide to the Information Commons (2009) Today Beyond the Information Commons (2020) Tomorrow The Future of the Commons in the Academic Library Q&A October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 2
  3. 3. A Field Guide to the Information Commons “The information commons was one of the most significant trends to emerge from developments in the research library community in the late twentieth century. As a conceptual theme that could be adapted to many academic settings, it became a catalytic notion for innovative new library facilities and programs.” Joan I. Gotwals Vice Provost & Director of Libraries (retired) Emory University October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 3
  4. 4. A Field Guide to the Information Commons The Field Guide (2009) sought to document the emerging trend of “Commons” facilities and programs, both nationally and internationally It included both analytical chapters by various specialists, as well as two dozen entries on specific instances, with comparative information October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 4
  5. 5. Information Commons Fully-featured desktop Robust infrastructure Collaborative service model October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 5
  6. 6. Learning Commons Group studies, breakout spaces BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Writing centers, tutoring services Academic success services Comfortable furniture Coffee shop, café October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 6
  7. 7. Next Generation Commons Presentation practice Audio/video production Makerspace Big data visualization Digital scholarship October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 7
  8. 8. Question Raise your hand if your institution has a facility or program that you call one of the following: 1.  Information/Learning/Knowledge/Other Commons 2.  Makerspace 3.  Digital Scholarship Center 4.  Some other catchy phrase; if so, what? October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 8
  9. 9. Overview Introduction Yesterday A Field Guide to the Information Commons (2009) Today Beyond the Information Commons (2020) Tomorrow The Future of the Commons in the Academic Library Q&A October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 9
  10. 10. Beyond the Information Commons Planned as a second edition to the 2009 volume, now moving in new directions. Because there are now so many new kinds of technology-enabled spaces (makerspaces, digital scholarship centers, etc.), the new book aims to more inclusively document the many new kinds of facilities and the reasons for creating them. October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 10
  11. 11. Foreword James B. Hunt Jr. Library North Carolina State University §  NextGen Learning Commons §  Graduate Student Commons §  Lake Raleigh Learning Commons, and §  Faculty Research Commons October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 11 Nutter notes that with their combination of new kinds of technologies, new kinds of expert assistance, and public programming and outreach, the Hunt Library’s commons are highly decentralized, offering a glimpse into the user-centered approach that informs the development of the Library’s services in response to the changing needs of this academic community. Susan K. Nutter Vice Provost and Director of Libraries (retired) North Carolina State University
  12. 12. Origin and Development of the Information Commons Milewicz describes the shift from shared access, especially to digital resources and information, to shared creation and dissemination, pointing to a more active role for the library in the production of knowledge. •  Differentiation and segmentation of commons spaces •  Increase in the use of personal, portable devices •  Need to support individual, focused, undistracted work •  Collaborative, group productivity October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 12 She describes the emergence of the library as an important partner and center for technology-enabled making and scholarly production. Elizabeth J. Milewicz Head, Digital Scholarship Services Duke University Libraries Duke University, “The Edge” The Ruppert Commons for Research, Technology and Collaboration Durham, North Carolina
  13. 13. Surveying the Landscape Lippincott notes the widespread adoption of the commons in the last twenty years under a variety of terms and model, characterized by technologies that promote seamless access to information. The commons also delivers user services for both technology as well as content. §  Workstations for individual and group use §  Spaces for presentation practice and videoconferencing §  Consultation areas and classrooms §  exhibit and event spaces §  Vending areas and cafes She concludes that the library commons will continue to play an important role in the learning community it serves. Joan K. Lippincott Associate Executive Director CNI (Coalition for Networked Information) October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 13
  14. 14. 21st Century Library Service Design Felix and Swift suggest that libraries need to go beyond simple access to information, to creating and connecting people, technology and resources. New and emerging user needs compel libraries to rethink their services, and their organizational structures, processes and cultures. Drawing on their work with nearly fifty academic libraries they describe a process for thinking systematically about library service philosophy and delivery, redesign of work process, and organizational restructuring, based on a user-driven perspective. Eliot Felix Founder & CEO, brightspot strategy Matthew Swift Associate Director, brightspot strategy October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 14
  15. 15. Integrating Technology into the Information Commons Rhoads focuses on first principles such as mission, community needs, and overall trends, this contribution discusses technology integration, innovation, lifecycle planning and budgeting, and the nuts and bolts of power, data, networking, wayfinding, and security. His discussion of trends covers everything from rapid prototyping and sandboxes, through digital asset management and software/ virtualization, to “technology convergence”, the movement toward a unified digital platform that will enable the commons to continue to remain central to the library’s mission. Parke Rhoads Principal Vantage Technology Consulting Group October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 15
  16. 16. Designing Flexible Spaces Cook and Maddox underscore the need for constant innovation and change in the Library Commons in order to effectively support the faculty, staff and students they serve. In a series of case studies they describe rapid design processes, and lightweight renovation and construction, that enabled libraries to quickly implement projects that produced flexible and attractive spaces in response to institutional growth and change. October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 16 Summer Cook Integrated Construction Specialist/Project Liaison, DIRTT Betsy Maddox Education Director, DIRTT
  17. 17. Tying It All Together Designed in response to the needs of the end-user, the research- and learning-focused space that is the successful Information Commons offers an experience based on available devices, inspiring physical spaces, virtual connections, and a host of services not typically associated with libraries of the past. Moving through a range of planning themes that include the overall experience, services and partnerships, tools for creation and dissemination, technology, and identity, the evolution of the commons is traced from the destination commons, through the distributed commons, to the idea that the library is the commons. The commons of the future will reach out beyond the walls of the library, crossing disciplinary boundaries as a hub for innovation designed to foster productive collaboration, promote interdisciplinary learning, and support ground-breaking research across campus. Kelly Brubaker Associate, Shepley Bulfinch October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 17
  18. 18. Afterword A guided tour of a range of facilities and landscapes exemplifying and showcasing seven concepts that point toward a set of big ideas that could inform and shape the design of the next generation of services, technologies and spaces in academic libraries. §  Tribe §  Power §  Crossroads §  Subject §  Detail §  Den §  Skunkworks Marie S. A. Sorensen, Founder Sorensen Partners | Architects + Planners October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 18
  19. 19. Relatively New, Relatively Big Most of the commons in this sample were established fairly recently, about ten years ago; the average year was 2006. Most of the facilities were renovated or overhauled one or more times in the last decade. While there is a lot of variation in size, the average is 16K square feet, or for a conceptual gross space picture, a square roughly 125 feet on a side. Duke University, “The Edge” The Ruppert Commons for Research, Technology and Collaboration Durham, North Carolina University of North Carolina at Greensboro Digital Media Commons October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 19
  20. 20. Extended Hours, Service Points, Computers These commons are open on average roughly 120 hours per week, or in other words, over 70% of the time in a week - fairly long hours. They were manned on average around 100 hours per week - again, long hours. Most of them had more than one service point. There was extreme variation in number of desktop computers, but most had dozens. On average they had about half as many laptops as desktop computers. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Studio Chattanooga, Tennessee University of Maryland Terrapin Learning Commons College Park, Maryland October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 20
  21. 21. Heavy Transactional Usage These facilities are heavily used, with tens of thousands of entries per month. On average, roughly half of the entries seem to have had an associated service transaction, typically On average, roughly 75% of the entries seem to have had an associated logon to a computer. University of Minnesota Twin Cities SMART Learning Commons Minneapolis, Minnesota University of Central Florida Knowledge Commons Orlando, Florida October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 21
  22. 22. Overview Introduction Yesterday A Field Guide to the Information Commons (2009) Today Beyond the Information Commons (2020) Tomorrow The Future of the Commons in the Academic Library Q&A October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 22
  23. 23. Ubiquitous technology transforming! how we live, work and learn October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 23 1965 1980 2020 1969 DOD ARPANET 1981 IBM PC 1984 Apple Macintosh 1989 CERN WWW 2000 1992 First ever photo posted 1993 MOSAIC text & image 1994 YAHOO 1994 U So California Info Commons 1997 Google 2000 Y2K 2001 Wikipedia 2003 MySpace 2004 Facebook 2006 Twitter 2007 iPhone 2010 Instagram
  24. 24. October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 24 THE CLOUD! Device & code THE TREE! Paper & ink
  25. 25. October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 25 THE CLOUD! Device & code THE TREE! Paper & ink Cultural memory institutions use the best available technology to acquire, conserve and transmit the inscribed cultural legacy
  26. 26. October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 26 THE CLOUD! Device & code THE TREE! Paper & ink Anyone Anything Anywhere Anytime
  27. 27. October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 27 THE CLOUD! Device & code THE TREE! Paper & ink Develop Describe Discover Deliver
  28. 28. Question If you could change one thing about your library, what would it be? October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 28
  29. 29. Overview Introduction Yesterday A Field Guide to the Information Commons (2009) Today Beyond the Information Commons (2020) Tomorrow The Future of the Commons in the Academic Library Q&A October 10, 2019 The InfoCommons Ten Years Later 29
  30. 30. Academic Library! Learning Space Evolution! ! The Information Commons! Ten Years Later Charles Forrest, 21st Century Libraries Consulting Martin Halbert, University of North Carolina-Greensboro Georgia Libraries Conference Macon, Georgia October 10, 2019

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