Archive for June, 2012

library reference desk – library service desk

The library is an important social place. The experience of sharing and communicating in a learning space is vital to the development of effective schools, public libraries and academic institutions. In a recent analysis of the library service desk, University of New South Wales (UNSW) Library Planning Team presented a case study on the library reference desk. They explored the idea of no reference desk.

Since all libraries are different, it is important to develop a strategy as well as make some tactical service planning decisions. A change to the service environment should be taken with careful planning and understanding. The entire team should be included in the development of the concept, creating team-building activities to explore how the library would function without a service desk. Even if the library staff is not ready for this type of service environment, this is an opportunity to explore ways to efficiently and effectively improve library services.

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Library Fundraising

It is important to connect librarians with resources to be successful. One area that is important for any library project is the development of a program for the activities in the library. However, if the building or organizational program does not have sufficient funds to achieve a good return – the project might not get started at all. For this reason, every librarian should consider fundraising as an opportunity and a challenge.

A good place to learn about fundraising is from some experts.

  • The American Library Association – library fundraising page – has a nice portal to begin your research.
  • This is a good bibliography of resources to begin your fundraising campaign.
    Library Advocacy – Library Fundraising Resources
  • This librarian blog with links to library fundraising (part 1, part 2, part 3) provides some very good insight. It will help you get some ideas to develop for your campaign.
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    The Evolving Learning Commons for Libraries

    The learning commons is a part of the academic environment that supports peer/group learning activities. There are different resources to review in order to develop the approach that best suites your library or learning environment. For example, the learning tool kit developed a set of guiding principles that will help you start:

      • Refer to expert studies. There are lots of existing experimental studies and publications out there that academic practitioners have pilot-studied. It’s good to review pre-existing materials as a starting point. (i.e. ELI etc).
      • Explore what activities need to be supported, by reviewing the research you’ve conducted in the assessment phase (interviews, surveys etc).
      • Devise an integrated space concept model that includes necessary technology and equipment as well as the furnishing parameters that supports the activity in mind. At this stage, the details can be vague.
      • Outline the environmental qualities neccessary to support the activities within the space or increase the comfort level of the users – lighting (natural and artificial), acoustics, and thermal comfort.
      • Think about the critical sight lines and proportions/scales that can influence the performance of the space type.
      • Define the stimulation factors of the space. Why would students be interested to be here set aside the function of the space? Cool furnishing? coffee availability? being able to see outside and have access to natural light?
      • Determine the flexibility of the space, and specify the critical factors that make it happen (walls, partitions, furnishings etc).
      • Ensure that collaboration is enabled through necessary support services, space and technology supported in the space. Not just being able to collaborate, but to develop, capture and present and share the ideas.

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