The Scholarly Commons is Moving!

The Scholarly Commons has been hosting events and testing equipment and furniture in 220 Main Library since Fall 2017, and the time has come to move the Scholarly Commons service desk downstairs.  We are excited to have a larger space where we can work with our partners and users in new ways!  Many decisions still need to be made, so watch this space for updates and opportunities to provide input on furniture and technology.  Here is what we know now:

What exactly will happen?

The collaboration rooms in 220 have proven oversized for collaboration and consulting needs, block sight lines, and reduce the flexibility of the room. These rooms will be removed and the carpet and walls will be repaired in those areas. Ceiling tiles will be swapped out throughout the room to brighten the space, and finally the room will be painted in keeping with furniture selections. Our furniture and technology selections will be made in ways that allow us to reconfigure the space to meet known needs and accommodate evolving needs. We will replace the existing collaboration rooms with smaller reservable rooms that may be moveable in order to provide maximum flexibility for the space.  The workstations and scanners currently in the Scholarly Commons will be moved to Room 220 and located near the service desk.

What is the schedule?

Tentatively, should things go well, our goal would be for the minimal construction to happen over winter break to avoid disruption for students, particularly during finals week. Following furniture selection and painting, furniture and technology will be ordered and placed in spring, along with a communications campaign to announce the Scholarly Commons relocation, with an anticipated transition of services over summer of 2020, allowing the Scholarly Commons (and the Library) to adjust services, as needed.

How does this project relate to the Library Building Project (https://www.library.illinois.edu/library-building-project/)?

The construction in Room 220 will be minimal and investments will largely be in furniture and technology: things that can be moved should the Scholarly Commons relocate to another location elsewhere in the Main Library once the Building Project is finished. This strategy will “refresh” the space, but also leave behind a space that can be customized for another unit. Ultimately, we believe this approach gives us maximum flexibility, allows the Scholarly Commons to evolve in long-intended ways, and will stimulate ideas as everyone continues to consider opportunities related to the new Building Project.