Library Planning Research

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.