Posts Tagged learningcommons#

Library Planning – Kickstarting the Design Process

It is important to remember that funding a library improvement project does not have to follow a prescribed linear course. In Crowdfunding the Library, we noted that librarians and educators can generate interest to improve libraries.

Crowd-funding is a way to kick-start a library building improvement plan. For example, there are web sites (kickstarter.com) and if you are an academic library Bill Gates recommends (microryza.com). Both are websites offer funding opportunities with a solid plan.

Organizing the funding process can trigger additional opportunities that will gain traction in your community. One way to begin this process is to ask the community – What makes a beautiful library?25 Stunning Libraries From Around The World” provides inspiration – ideas that you can use to get people excited about libraries.

Remember libraries are not just about books or e-books. They are social spaces, places for tutoring and collaboration, culture and programming. We are planning libraries that are digital as well as social. They are integrated with library information systems that enable circulation, reference, access and ebook access. According to Publishers Weekly – Bookstats trade publishing “Total e-book sales rose 44.2% in 2012, to $3.04 billion and accounted for 20% of trade revenue in the year, up from 16% in 2011.” The 44% increase in e-book sales is an important indicator that access to the library is digital as well as physical. Kick-starting the fundraising process will help the community understanding that these changes are an opportunity.

The practice of library master planning helps and supports local fundraising efforts. The studies help answer questions about the future, providing opportunities to align the community. Fundraising effors will help your library solve problems and generate experiments with new services.

Kick-start the programming process and start communicating new ideas. Use Kickstarter to get the ball rolling, enabling your library to create an improvement plan. If you are a global library in need of support, Deborah Jacobs blog about the development of libraries with Gates funding may be a starting point.

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Library – Learning Commons TouchPoints

Learning TouchPoints are an important part of the library – learning commons – physical program. The service desks, collaboration bars and hubs can be developed to include visualization TouchPoints; spaces where students, tutors, mentors and faculty can write on the walls. These spaces will help the library staff visualize discovery services; share spaces that will enable the community to work collaboratively with virtual content in the cloud.

According to Businessweek, interactive designer, Obscura Digital and office furniture manufacturer, Haworth are collaborating to develop a new touch screen, called Bluescape. The set up will cover an entire conference-room wall, displaying images on 15 linked 55-inch flat-screen monitor. It will enable reading hand movements using its 32 specialized sensors. The new learning space design will allow users to add digital sticky notes by uploading documents from other devices, making brainstorming sessions more productive. The visualization space will allow students to shape their discovery activities.

According to “plugging the innovation gap in our universities?” “Students are no longer sitting idle when it comes to the online experience, they are taking the experience online themselves and going onto Facebook groups, Google groups and setting up online forums.” The students are using online tools for social and educational discovery purposes at the same time. They are engaging with technology to succeed.

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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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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.

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Learning Circle – Library as an Incubator for Online Learning

The library is no place to dream small. It is an incubator that when heated at the right tempature evolves into a place for education in the 21st century. The “Library as place” where a new concept for online learning is emerging; the barriers to education are being lowered. The library is a universal place that lets learning grow.

Libraries exist not just to lend books but to guarantee their continuous availability of access to information. In “Digital Education“- MIT technology Review January/February 2013 stated – “The highest ambition of any society is to educate its citizens.” Indeed, a simple group circle or shape speeds up our ability to perceive the learning space, and without realizing it, we are more productive.

In NYTimes Article “Why We Love Beautiful Things,” German Researchers’ found that just glancing at shades of green can boost creativity and motivation. However, we know people see things differently. To get it right, Professor Sanjay Sarma at MIT will serve as a convener and synthesizer to develop and integrate elements of online education into traditional MIT courses. It will be his job to create shades of green for students to get the most out of their education.

For example, the library of the future is an incubator: When you enter a flexible learning place—Enter—See—Access Services–Hi ceiling—Visibility–Stand-up-table–Tools—Screens—Screens on the edges.

The Consultation Bar is in the rear—Tutoring—Workshops—Mentoring–Peer Learning—-Touch points—One too one—-a place for flexible learning—Web browser—To view video—Questions to be
answered—Homework—Forums.

The model is a series of circles—each circle is a learning circle a place flexible learning—–start programming.

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