Survey on Infocommons, Knowledge Commons, Learning Commons, and Makerspaces

Posting on behalf of Martin Halbert, who is co-authoring, with Charles Forrest, a second edition of A Field Guide to the Information Commons. (Disclosure – I contributed to the first edition and plan to update my chapter for the second edition). The book will contain a section describing new types of library spaces in institutions, and the authors seek information about facilities such as information or learning commons and makerspaces. I encourage you to contribute information through the survey link in the message below.

–Joan Lippincott, CNI



If your institution has a library facility called an Information Commons, Knowledge Commons, Learning Commons, Makerspace, or some similar name, we invite you to complete a survey describing your facility for inclusion in an upcoming book entitled A Field Guide to the Information Commons (Second Edition), which will be published by Scarecrow Press and authored by myself and Charles Forrest of Emory University. The entries in this book will provide a snapshot of the current state of development in academic and research libraries of the information commons, a response to the pressures of a rapidly changing research and learning environment characterized by acquiring and making accessible a host of new online information resources, developing innovative collaborative services, and transforming spaces to support changing user behaviors and patterns of learning.

Descriptive entries will include both text and images portraying facilities in several dozen libraries across North America and beyond. If you are interested in submitting an entry to the book, please fill out the survey information at the following link. The survey will close January 31st at midnight.

Background: Developments in technology libraries and in the larger society continue to enable new forms of information seeking behavior and scholarship, drawing a response from libraries that harkens back to the venerable notion of the “commons,” a public place that supports community, a place free to be used by everyone, which everyone has a joint right to use, to participate in or share, a place that is generally accessible, affable and familiar. The first edition of the Field Guide described the early and rapid emergence of the concept of the “commons” and its widespread adoption among academic and research libraries. This second edition will capture the continued evolution of the trend. Many thanks for participating!

Warm regards,

Martin Halbert (Ph.D., MLIS)
UNT Dean of Libraries and Associate Professor

Julie Brill: Closing Keynote at December 2015 Member Meeting

I’m absolutely delighted to announce that Julie Brill will be giving the closing keynote at our December 2015 membership meeting. I’ll have a bit more to say about this when we send out the meeting roadmap in a couple of weeks, but briefly, Julie is a Commisioner at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) who has been doing some absolutely extraordinary work on privacy and security in the digital world. I’ve had the opportunity to hear her speak on these issues several times over the past year, and she has a very deep understanding of the implications of “big data” and algorithmic decision-making and classification, particularly in the consumer context. There’s more bio on the CNI website.

Julie has very graciously agreed to join us and share some of her thinking about privacy and analytics in the higher education context. She’s titled her talk “Transparency, Trust and Consumer Protection in a Complex World.” Here is her abstract:

In a world that is becoming increasingly complex and data-intensive, trust is becoming ever more important. If consumers do not trust organizations and the systems that they use to collect, analyze, and use their personal data, consumers may reject technologies that could offer significant social and individual benefits.  Transparency is a key element of building and maintaining consumer trust.  Providing effective transparency, however, is a challenge for companies that are developing new connected devices and apps and predictive analytics services. Using a series of illustrations based on the Internet of Things and big data analytics, Commissioner Brill will discuss strategies for providing transparency in our interconnected, complex world, with a particular focus on the roles that researchers and consumer protection agencies like the Federal Trade Commission in putting these strategies into practice.

This should be a wonderful session. I hope to see you at our fall membership meeting.

Clifford Lynch

Director, CNI

7th Annual Open Access Symposium at UNT Call for Proposals

Posting on behalf of our colleague Martin Halbert. The Open Access Symposium at UNT brings together a wide range of speakers and promises to be an excellent program. The call for proposals is now available.

The Library Publishing Forum call for proposals will be available later this month.

–Joan Lippincott, CNI



We are pleased to issue the call for proposals for the 7th annual Open Access Symposium at UNT, the premier annual conference regarding Open Access, attracting speakers and attendees from around the world.  The conference will be held on the main campus of the UNT system in Denton, Texas, just north of Dallas.   This year we invite both classic presentations as well as a variety of alternative and interactive session formats.  We hope you’ll not only attend and but also propose a presentation.  Also, please note that the OA Symposium is offered in conjunction with the 2016 Library Publishing Forum, which will be held just before the Symposium (see link below).  We hope you’ll not only attend and but also propose a presentation.  Please join us for a Texas sized welcome and pair of great conferences and associated events!


Call for proposals:

Open Access Symposium website:

LPC Website:

Best regards,

Martin Halbert (Ph.D., MLIS)

UNT Dean of Libraries and Associate Professor

Presentations from Designing Libraries IV available online

I am pleased to announce that North Carolina State University Library has put the presentations from the Designing Libraries IV conference, co-sponsored by University of Calgary and CNI and held in September, 2015, online. There is a wealth of information here on trends in library buildings, technologies, services, and organizational issues.

Joan Lippincott, CNI

University of Michigan Data Science Symposium Video & Slides

On September 8, 2015,  the University of Michigan announced a large scale ($100 Million) initiative on Data Science. You can find general information on the initiative at:

As part of this launch, the University hosted a full day symposium on October 6. The slides and video for this event are now available online at:

There is a good deal of material here that I think will be of interest to CNI-announce/CNI News readers.

Clifford Lynch
Director, CNI

2016 EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Key Issues Survey

Cni-announce/CNI News subscribers/readers are invited to participate in the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative survey to identify the 2016 key issues in teaching and learning.

–Joan Lippincott



Greetings, colleagues!

I’m writing to let you know that the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative has just launched its 2016 Key Issues in Teaching and Learning Survey.  Please take a few minutes to complete the survey; it should take at most five minutes.

Each year, the ELI surveys the teaching and learning community in order to discover the key issues and themes in teaching and learning. These top issues provide the thematic foundation or basis for all of our conversations, courses, and publications for the coming year. Longitudinally they also provide the way to track the evolving discourse in the teaching and learning space.  More information about this annual survey can be found here.

I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.



Malcolm Brown
Director, EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative
Uncommon Thinking for the Common Good
1150 18th Street, NW, Suite 900 Washington, DC 20036
direct: 575.448.1313 | main: 202.872.4200 | fax: 202.872.4318 |

Personal Digital Archiving 2016 Call for Submissions

Here is the call for submissions for the upcoming 2016 Personal Digital Archiving meeting. CNI is delighted to once again serve as a cooperating organization for this conference.

Clifford Lynch

Director, CNI


We are pleased to announce that the annual Personal Digital Archiving 2016 conference will be hosted at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on May 12-14, 2016.

As the centrality of personal digital archives and the ubiquity of digital content grows, librarians, archivists, scholars, students, activists, and those who fill the role of the “family IT person,” have to deal with how to best select, preserve, and manage digital material. PDA 2016 seeks to host a discussion across domains focusing on how to best manage personal digital material, be it at a large institution or in a home office.

Personal Digital Archiving 2016 invites proposals on a variety of relevant topics, suggested but not limited to:

  • Personal digital archives and why they matter to individuals, communities, and organizations
  • Distinctions between personal information management and the archive
  • Key threats to personal digital archives
  • Applying selection criteria to personal digital archives
  • The digital archive during a person’s life and after death
  • Management tools and techniques for personal digital archives
  • Costs associated with maintaining a personal digital archive

We also welcome proposals for hands-on full and half-day workshops for Saturday, May 14. In particular, workshops may be focused on mobilizing communities of interest or on digital archive tools and techniques.

For PDA 2016, we seek to create a balanced showcase for current and emerging scholarship on personal information management and personal digital archiving, as well as for exciting and innovative projects and programs. We strongly encourage proposals from a wide-range of people and organizations. These may include but are not limited to: community organizations focused on gathering oral histories or other local collections, academia, graduate students of all levels in all related disciplines, those preserving familial material, activist groups, hobbyists, tool developers, and information professionals such as archivists, librarians, and curators. For proposals focusing on sharing practice, please note that we are not only seeking “perfect” archiving solutions and strongly encourage proposals discussing “good enough” preservation and challenges or roadblocks to archiving this content.

PDA 2016 will follow the format of the last conference, with two days of presentations, panels, and posters, and a third day of workshops. The program committee seeks proposals for:

  • 10-20 minute presentations
  • 5 minute lightning talks
  • posters (including demos)
  • workshops, particularly those emphasizing technology or procedures enabling grassroots or familial archiving efforts (taking place on the third day).

Your submissions should include:

  • The title of your presentation
  • For 10-20 minute presentations: a 300 word abstract
  • For lightning talks and posters: a 150-300 word abstract
  • For workshop proposals: a 150-300 word curriculum overview, including approximate number of hours needed, what tools will be taught, and computing infrastructure requirements
  • For panel proposals: a 150-300 word overview of the topic and suggestions for additional presenters
  • A brief biographical sketch (a paragraph or so) or CV (no more than 2 pages)

The Program and Host Committees will group presentations by common themes when possible. Shorter presentations may be grouped into relevant panels. We will be incorporating a variety of discussion periods to encourage interaction and the sharing of different perspectives among what will hopefully be a diverse group of attendees.  

All proposals are due by Monday, December 7th. Submit proposals or any questions to the PDA 2016 Program Committee at Check for further information and updates.

Lance Stuchell, on behalf of the PDA 2016 Program Committee

Lance Stuchell
Digital Preservation Librarian
Department of Preservation and Conservation
University Library, University of Michigan

Jisc/CNI report “The Journey towards Openness” released

Today, as part of Open Access Week, Jisc and CNI have released the report of our July 2014 joint meeting titled “The Journey Towards Openness”.

Every two years, Jisc and CNI have brought together a small group of leaders from both the US and the UK to explore a topic of joint interest related to digital content, technology, and higher education. At this meeting we took a very broad look at what we called the the “journey towards openness”, encompassing open access, open data and open scholarship, some of the interrelationships among these developments, and some particular challenges in international cooperation to advance these shifts. The report also contains brief summaries of a number of important events that have taken place since the 2014 conference, providing an ongoing context for the discussions.

There is a short blog post summarizing the report at

The actual report, which contains a rich set of links and video materials as well as text, can be read at:

and there’s also a PDF version that can be found at:

Clifford Lynch Director, CNI

Register now for October 20th LSC Webinar: Spaces that have a Role in Preparing Students for Productive and Meaningful Lives

You’ll find many examples of interest in the next Learning Spaces Collaboratory webinar. This one explores why physical spaces are still important in learning, among other questions. There is a fee for registration – see below.
–Joan Lippincott, CNI

 Learning Spaces Collaboratory News & Alerts: Fall 2015

Join us for the LSC Webinar Making the Case: Spaces that have a Role in Preparing Students for Productive and Meaningful Lives on October 20th at 3:30pm EDT. 

Note that a recording of the webinar is available for all registered participants if you cannot join us in real-time.

Skidmore College: Spaces for experiencing the power of art in the process of learning 

We will be exploring some audacious questions about why place-based learning matters and sharing stories from campuses giving students campus-based experiences through which they become, practice becoming. Some audacious questions we will be exploring:

·         In a time when information can be accessed, examined, shared, and translated into practice virtually, beyond boundaries of time, place, why do physical spaces matter to the undergraduate learning experience?

·         What is it that we want our undergraduate learners to become that is enabled by “in-the-present, in the space” interactions in which students are actively engaged in a social and supportive community?

·         What are the attributes, the affordances of spaces that “work” in the service of robust learning?

 James Madison University
James Madison University: One of the many makerspaces now being established around the JMU campus

The October LSC webinar will present stories from four campuses that explore these questions and offer advice for planning teams—be they architects or academics.

Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia Institute of Technology: A practice room for problem-driven learning pedagogies 

Join us in thinking about how a black box theater, a fine arts museum, campus-wide networks of makerspaces, a green roof classroom, problem-solving studios can contribute to a campus ecosystem of learning spaces for your community of learners.

 Texas A&M University 

Texas A&M University: An unexpected space for learning on the TAMU campus


Jeanne L. Narum

The Independent Colleges Office, Director

Learning Spaces Collaboratory, Principal

D: (202) 256-8872

C: (202) 528-0305

Last updated:  Friday, February 1st, 2013