The new library commons at the University of California, Berkeley’s
Institute for Research on Labor and Employment is a comprehensive renovation
with new areas for student and faculty engagement, presentations, group
meetings, and accommodations for visiting scholars.
Branch and Subject Libraries
These satellite, specialized entities are undergoing change in one of two ways—either to
be absorbed by a larger campus library or to be invigorated in new ways. Libraries
choosing to invigorate branch or subject libraries usually do so with partners who share
a vision of enhanced services and support for study and research.
The Research Computing Lab at University of Virginia’s Brown Science and
Engineering Library “provides a convenient space for faculty and students to
work on innovative projects with specialists from the library and the campus IT
group. Here they get support for instruction and research in the science and
engineering disciplines.” Consultation services are offered for high-performance
and research computing, complemented by training sessions and “boot camps.”
The new and privately funded C. V. Starr East Asian Library at the
University of California, Berkeley features a rare-book facility; consolidated
print collections of 400,000 volumes; various flavors of group and individual
spaces; faculty support for digitization and course development; and a multi-
purpose media center with advanced imaging, satellite, and media equipment.
The newly renovated Fine Arts Library Reading Room at the University of
Texas, a funding and staffing collaboration with the College of Fine Arts,
features multimedia workstations, an array of specialty production equipment,
and with capacity to host donor receptions and other functions.
Flexible, User-influenced Spaces
A handful of libraries have turned to their constituents to influence space and
programming outcomes. As a result of these informative engagements, libraries report
the outcomes exceed what they might have created working in isolation.
Cornell University librarians worked with students and faculty from the
departments of communication and design & experimental analysis to develop
Learning and Research Spaces in ARL Libraries: Snapshots of Installations and Experiments
C O N T I N U E D
JUNE 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC