the Bissett Collaborative Space and the Graduate Study Area in the Mann
Library. Constituents were engaged from initial research and design ideas to
ongoing post-occupancy evaluation. Mobility and malleability are key
ingredients that contribute to students creating “customized learning moments.”
For the renovation of the first floor of Florida State University’s Strozier
Library, staff applied many of the user-centered assessment techniques
championed by the University of Rochester and the University of Minnesota.2
“Our space, services, staffing will all be shaped by what users tell us—not by
what we assume or by what we want to give users. In this way, we will never be
finished building this space; it will be a dynamic, (r)evolutionary space.”
The learning spaces in University of Rochester’s Gleason Library are
designed for undergraduate collaborative learning. All aspects of the space
programming were influenced by student users through various anthropologist-
overseen discovery techniques and assessment.
Classrooms, Workshops, Instruction
Increasingly, campus pedagogy is shifting to actively engage students in the learning
process. Rows of forward-facing desks in lecture hall arrangement are being replaced by
technology and furnishings that allow for a range of configurations to support the
particular learning moment. As noted in the companion report to this one published in
the ARL Bimonthly Report, no. 261 (December 2008), many libraries are pursuing
agendas to develop students’ information fluencies beyond the needs of a single
assignment or course. The programming of new and renovated learning spaces
frequently features literacy instruction.
The University of Chicago’s Zar Reading Room is glassed-in, and with
custom shades to reduce glare during presentations. Tables and chairs are easily
reconfigurable, screens and whiteboards are added to peripheral walls, and
mobile projector carts with flat-panel displays provide multiple viewing options.
The room carries several functions: instruction, training, speaker series, and
informal group study for students in the evening.
The University of Western Ontario Libraries, in collaboration with the
Centre for Faculty and Graduate Student Development, have created two
teaching support centers on campus that feature exemplary classrooms.
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