Exemplary library-space programming is attuned to student learning cycles,
timed to deliver skills and assistance when students most need them, and
continually informed by student and faculty feedback. The library’s information
literacy and fluency agendas should
be tied to faculty expectations for
student learning outcomes, and to
complementary skills like research
synthesis, and multimedia production. The trend to embed information literacy
into foundation courses and across curricula will increase, in turn creating new
opportunities for libraries to contribute to curriculum development, support
research methodologies, and promote library resources and services.
Faculty and graduate students are becoming more outspoken in their
expectations that libraries should address their research and contemplative
needs via physical space solutions. There is no consensus on what these
responses should be. New forms of support and accommodation are being
offered to graduate and professional students in branch and subject libraries.
Subject-based digital centers offer a supporting cast of experts to assist faculty
and graduate students with new forms of research and scholarship in appealing
settings. And contemplative spaces with attractive amenities are being designed
for scholars who require a quiet setting, sometimes with print and digital
materials close at hand. These constituents also have a need for technology
exposure and training, practice with new pedagogies, and the opportunity to
mix and socialize with peers from across campus. Experiments in providing
space for faculty and graduate students typically bring in campus partners to
embellish and complete their offerings.
Some lingering or unresolved questions are:
• How might more libraries benefit from user-centered assessment applied to
the design and programming phases of new learning spaces?
• How will critical student learning outcomes be identified and realized in
these learning spaces?
• What new staff roles provided by both the library and campus partners are
required to support and deliver the agenda of these spaces?
• How will libraries create and improve learning spaces to address the specific
needs of local constituents without falling into the trap of simply emulating
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
Exemplary library-space programming is attuned to student learning
cycles, timed to deliver skills and assistance when students most need
them, and continually informed by student and faculty feedback.