Learning Commons to Integrate Services
This fall, the Undergraduate Library is implementing a new service model called the Learning Commons. Increasingly popular in academic libraries, this collaborative model integrates library reference services with other campus services, resources, and technologies.
The Learning Commons transforms ways in which the Undergraduate Library serves students, faculty, and other library users. It offers a central reference point for receiving expert, specialized assistance; for accessing the library’s extensive print and electronic collections; and for exploring emerging technologies for research and coursework.
“Our goal is to create an integrated environment,” explains Lisa Hinchliffe, head of the Undergraduate Library. “We want students to be able to gather information and access all the services, tools, and resources that enable them to succeed with their research assignments and class projects.”
The implementation is accompanied by various physical changes in the Undergraduate Library, which primarily involve reorganization to achieve the goals of the Learning Commons model. For example, some carrels have been removed, additional “soft seating” is on order, and shelving for materials has been reconfigurated. These changes have resulted in a more vibrant, contemporary layout that responds better to users’ needs, provides group workspace, and facilitates technology use.
The Learning Commons is funded through collaboration by the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA), University Library, and Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services (CITES).