Posts Tagged information commons

I-Library – What about the Learning Commons?

The Bexar County library will open a prototype digital public library. According to “Paperless Libraries Switch to Digital” – It will have 100 e-readers on loan, and dozens of screens where the public will be able to browse, study, and learn digital skills. However, it’s likely most users will access BiblioTech’s initial holding of 10,000 digital titles anywhere.

The Learning Commons is a library space that the community can use for multipurpose / multi-functional activities. Conceptually, it is a public space that functions as a modern learning environment. A bookless library that offers just e-readers and desktop computers will find out that the “library as place” is the key their success; a motivating seating space that allows people to work collaboratively or individually.

According to Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolf in NPR’s “A New Chapter? A Launch Of The Bookless Library – The library is a chance to expand the scope of opportunities for people to learn technology. The world is changing.”

According to an NPR comment by Michael Hale – “For the past 15 years or so, the public library has become as much of a community center as a place to house a collection. It provides computers for those who cannot afford them, which allows them to construct resumes and do daily activities such as banking or renewing their driver’s license.”

Below is a picture from our studio. We are working on understanding how spaces relate to each other in the new learning commons. It is a good example of our visualization process and something that is critical to the development of new types of learning spaces.

Learning Commons Visualization Work

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Making the Learning Commons Mobile

According to MIT Technology Review “Mobile Computing Is Just Getting Started,” mobile computing is spreading faster than any other consumer technology in history. Almost half of the “late technophobes” have a smartphone, potentially transforming the way we make transactions in the library. In fact, 65% of the worlds citizens don’t have a smartphone yet. By bringing personal computing to the phone means that sharing information from the palm of your hand is really only beginning.

Mobile computing is changing the way we use information and the way we use the library. For example, Facebook’s share of the time a US smartphone users spends on their apps – 23%. According to Gartner’s “Big Data, Bigger Opportunities Investing in Information Analytics Report,” almost 27% percent of consumers ages 18 to 34 use QR codes. Indeed, the library of the future will be built on various physical + virtual apps – ones that help us find a group study room or arrange to meet at the learning commons for a tutoring session or helps us understand the physical landmarks in a library.

The killer app isn’t Angry Birds. It is access to computing, library discovery systems, online learning programs and online education. The wireless smart phones and tablets have arrived – it is time to design our learning spaces to take advantage of the mobility of information and our ability to share content to gain knowledge. The blended librarian was correct; its all going mobile.

Yes, the MOBILE COMMONS is the next interactive space we will be studying at ACA. Below are some visualizations of learning spaces; How will seating change now that we are mobile?

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learning commons

visualizations of the learning commons

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The Digital Kingdom – Library Concept

What types of libraries can we envision 10, 20 and 50 years into the future? We have the luxury of being able to look back into the past, to what ACA was programming and designing 10, 20 and 40 years ago. We can do this by reviewing our library of library designs. For example in 2001, we started designing the information commons / self check out systems. In 2005, we were designing the learning commons, flexible classrooms and self check-in systems. In 1990, we were designing for automation, building large repositories of books (items). In the 1970’s, we were designing the traditional reading room and classrooms; timeless centers for study and collaboration.

A strong past is a good foundation from which to look into the future. In that spirit, we started dreaming what the library will look like in 10 and 20 years. Will the library have computers? Will there be books? What will happen to the service desk? Will there be robots in the library? If so, does that mean that the librarian will change?

When we worked on our first library RFID project in 2003 it looked like a new world for mobility. Certainly, options for self check out became possible. It was also possible for the librarian to check a book to see if it was re-shelved correctly. Today, many libraries use RIFD and many do not. The main reason is cost, but the real reason is the lack of a strategy to determine the benefits from using the technology. For many, the technology seems too much too fast. For those who have implemented them, they can’t remember when they didn’t have the technology humming along responding to library user needs.

The Digital Kingdom is a place that responds to the needs of the people who use the environment. It is a library that is built one community member at a time. It is a space where the patron brings their content with them. It is an environment that can associate and respond to you, depending on your preferences, activities and location.

In the future, the Digital Kingdom will allow patrons to share their social information connected through their smart phone. Patron’s would opt-in to preferences on how the library should respond (facebook) to information and share with them as much as they want. For others, the library will help cross the digital divide. Patron’s would opt-in to technology, connect and learn to use it in new ways. Digital literacy will continue to be the center piece of the libraries foundation.

For the private, the library will respond to make the space more comfortable. It will only provide information that you set up to share. Remember sometimes turning off is as good as turning everything on.

all rights Disney Corporation

The technology of today provides opportunities to program, plan and design futurist environments. In “The Digital Kingdom“, the Disney Company plans to transform the loyalty bracelet into an RFID tool – MyMagic+. VIP experiences, lower wait times, more socializing and buying is driving the strategy. For example, Patron’s that opt-in will engage with characters that respond to your child with a personal greeting – like Happy Birthday. Disney will use the technology to enhance their legacy rides by layering new mobile and personal information into the customer experience.

Biblio Alexandria

From a library design perspective, Z-wave alliance is a place to start researching solutions. There are a number of products that will be used to create environments that respond to our needs. Most of the products easily track and control the temperature and humidity. Other products can be integrated with building systems to provide better energy efficiency.

The Digital Kingdom is a place where the environment recognizes you as a person. Let’s begin to make our libraries responsive to our needs.

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Information Collaboratory

Our team helps craft the vision for the library through an analysis of patterns and trends, conducting visioning sessions, leading scenario planning workshops, developing business cases, and improving work and business processes.

During one of these workshops, Michael Keller, University Librarian, Stanford developed a new kind of learning lab – a place where students and faculty no longer relied on print books and journals. Mike’s intention was to have librarians working closely with faculty and researchers in their interactive classrooms and learning labs.

In “The Stanford Innovation Juggernaut,” there is great praise for Mike Keller’s knowledge as a librarian and innovator. To learn more about Mike Kellers innovations – click here.

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