SPEC Kit 308: Graduate Student and Faculty Spaces and Services · 97
Indiana University Bloomington: The Research Commons: A Concept for the Wells Library East Tower
The Research Commons:
A Concept for the Wells Library East Tower
Within the long process of research, from discovery to dissemination, scholars rely on institutional
support. Indiana University, committed to its dual mission of advancing research and teaching, now
has an unparalleled opportunity to aid research in a way that positions the university at the forefront
of its peers and as a leader in the nation.
Creation of the Research Commons in the Herman B Wells Library will offer support—in one central
campus location—to faculty and graduate students at any point in the complex research process. By
assembling groups and expertise now distributed throughout the Bloomington campus, the Research
Commons will blend technology with traditional resources to serve as a center for a wide range of
scholarly activities.
Perhaps most important, faculty and graduate students from all disciplines will know that whatever
their research needs, they can start at the Research Commons. They will no longer have to determine
where to go on campus or whom to ask even the most basic questions, from “How do I get started?”
or “How do I digitize and archive this?” to “How do I copyright my work?”. By providing a space
for collaboration and information-sharing, the Research Commons will help faculty and graduate
students benefit from the tools and techniques already put in place by their colleagues in other
disciplines. Moreover, the collective expertise of librarians and technologists will help them realize
the true potential of the vast information resources of Indiana University.
The Research Commons will leverage three established strengths:
Perhaps the greatest promise of the Research Commons will be its ability to draw together many
layers of expertise in one location. Services provided by units now on campus—and other services
yet to be introduced—will be combined in a singular destination. Researchers will benefit from a
transparent delivery of services, whether they are looking for guidance in reference and research
services, metadata creation, grants and sponsored research, statistical analysis, or one of many other
areas essential to their work. Librarians, technologists, consultants, designers, and developers from
many campus units will all contribute to this effort. Success will depend on the leadership of the IUB
Libraries, UITS and OVPR, and build on their longstanding partnership.
Expertise will also be shared among researchers. The final report of the IU Cyberinfrastructure
Research Taskforce points to the value of bringing together researchers who may be unaware of the
tools and techniques used by scholars in other disciplines. “Chemists and physicists struggle with the
complexity of national cyberinfrastructure efforts, such as the TeraGrid,” the report states, “while
other scholars wrestle with the complexities of evolving desktop tools.” As a place for community-
building, the Research Commons will address the need for scholars to interrelate, both within and
across the conventional boundaries of their disciplines.
Previous Page Next Page