Campuses are building or renovating physical, technology-enabled spaces to support research and learning. CNI continues to have a strong focus on spaces that enhance new modes of teaching and learning; for example, spaces configured to support collaborative student projects employing technology and a range of information resources. Our interest stresses aligning new services and new technologies within the spaces that have been built to enhance the teaching and learning mission of the institution. Spaces that promote the integration of content and technologies into student-produced work in a way that engages students in the academic enterprise (whether media labs, studios, information/learning commons, or specialized classrooms) are a particular focus, highlighting the innovative ways that library spaces, technologies, and services are enabling pedagogical and curricular change. We are following developments in the emergence of makerspaces, which often offer capabilities such as 3-D printing to support individuals and classes working in a wide variety of disciplines.
Our work also emphasizes how these spaces can provide mechanisms for various professional collaborations 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 these types of spaces. CNI co-sponsored a major conference, Designing Libraries for the 21st Century V, at the University of Calgary’s Taylor Family Digital Library in September 2016, and we are considering the next conference in the series for 2017. We are working to take some lessons learned to a broader community through webinars and sessions at conferences.
Many institutions are interested in understanding the learning spaces of other campuses when they are planning renovations or new buildings. They seek data, photos, floor plans, and service models for new learning spaces, including classrooms, media studios, learning or information commons, and small group collaborative spaces. We are working with the ARL Assessment Committee on analyzing data collected through the ARL Facilities Inventory, developed by their Task Force on Facilities, and we will present some findings at the Library Assessment Conference in November 2016. In addition, we work to highlight the FLEXSpace project and the North Carolina State University (NCSU) Learning Space Toolkit’s Space Browser, and the Learning Space Rating System, all of which provide useful information about campus spaces.
The assessment of learning spaces has garnered increasing attention; we will continue to work with our partners, such as the Learning Spaces Collaboratory, to explore principles and practices in this area, and we will co-facilitate a workshop on learning space assessment at the Library Assessment Conference in 2016.