Our interest in learning or information commons continues its focus on aligning new services and new technologies in spaces that enhance the teaching and learning mission of the institution. More than comfortable, collaborative spaces, learning or information commons can promote the integration of content and technologies into student-produced work in a way that engages them in the academic enterprise. Our work also emphasizes how these spaces can provide mechanisms for a variety of professionals to collaborate to offer student-centered services. Librarians, instructional technologists, multi-media specialists, information technologists, and writing center staff are some of the partners who may work together to offer joint services in commons areas.
For several years, we have also been highlighting digital scholarship centers as an emerging area of interest in both research and college libraries. These centers provide a suite of spaces, high-end technologies, and in-depth consultation for faculty, graduate students, and upper-level undergraduates working on capstone projects. In this program year, we will continue to explore digital scholarship centers in the humanities and other disciplinary areas. We will encourage a better understanding of the rationale and mission for a center, suggestions for good practice, and models of services.
The assessment of learning spaces has garnered increasing attention, and we will be working with our partners to explore principles and practices in this area. We are working with the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative’s Seeking Evidence of Impact program to examine the link between learning and use of technology-enabled informal learning spaces such as libraries, learning commons, and media labs. We partner with the Learning Spaces Collaboratory (LSC), which is exploring the intersection of research and practice in the planning of 21st century learning spaces.