Library Planning Research,  Space Planning

Shifting Libraries to Mobile to Support Online Learning

As library users shift transactions to smart phones and other mobile devises, libraries must anticipate how library users will anchor their cloud-based relationship to a real study environment. We are tracking the transition from local to mobile in our study of libraries and research environments.

Yesterday, The Georgia Institute of Technology College of Computing announced that it will offer the First Professional Online Master of Science Degree in Computer Science (OMS CS). The course will allow students to earn credits completely through the “massive online” format, using Udacity Inc.

We believe this is an example of a transformation in higher education away from traditional models of learning to more dynamic approaches. We believe the library will be critical to student success at Georgia Tech both as a virtual space and a physical academic support environment. For example, the library will act as a flipped classroom; a concept that enables the learner to prep before they enter the classroom physical or virtual.

The flipped classroom learning strategy combined with a learning commons enhances learning activities. It enables students to be infused in the learning experience while they use their mobile learning device wherever they are located. It allows students to meet in the library for programs, labs and study groups – opportunities to build social networks.

On October 26, 2013, ACA will be doing a library planning workshop at Georgia Institute of Technology. In preparation for this event, we are asking for input on the question – “what is the idea of the library?”

In all of the discussions about online learning and MOOC’s, we need to remember the personal one-on-one exchanges that can happen in a library or learning commons. There can be skills building opportunities, activated by people sharing a space. It can be a visualization space with flexible technology, tables and seats on casters. It can also include media / technology carts and/or booktrucks with pre-arranged materials.

Last year, ACA did two library planning projects with Gensler. Both were opportunities to share our library programming and design services. Recently, we noted an article in Dialog – A Gensler Publication – about the transformation taking place in the banking industry. Below is a diagram from their publication.