Deepening the Conversation

thinking about questions of authority, technology, learning, and 2.0 in academic libraries

A Vision, articulated

2 Comments

In my last post I mentioned that I had written up a version of my Vision for my job, for my Learning Commons. My Dean had asked me for this, and I was thrilled to provide it to her.  I’ve spent a few days on various versions, and ultimately wrote up this quick and dirty, dense, management-ese version. There’s so much in here–each bullet could be a several page section of a larger article (and hopefully will be, but it’s hard to write about something  so dear to the heart).  I’d love feedback on this ; does anything about it inspire you? What parts are unclear, or make you want to call bullshit? What do you think?

Learning Commons Vision

Creating library spaces that evolve to remain relevant to undergraduate student research & study modes, while applying emerging and mature technology as useful, and leveraging the unique role of the library as a non-disciplinary academic space on campus.

Doing this requires not only maintaining and growing student services partners, but developing & strengthening relationships with academic units on campus and with subject librarians

  • Addressing study space needs of undergraduate students – collaborative & single, quiet and dynamic, late night
  • Explicitly acknowledging & supporting the truth that knowledge does not just sit on library shelves, but is actively created in libraries, and providing the software and support required to create students’ chosen final form of knowledge creation
  • Tracking the need for, and implementing as needed, changes in technological support for student coursework & intellectual engagement
  • Engaging the intellectual curiosity of students and growing their awareness of the potential for intellectual engagement of a wide variety of subjects
  • Helping orient students to the overwhelming array of library resources available to them
  • Leveraging the innovative impulses of the Undergraduate Library for technology and other areas to other libraries as suitable for their populations
  • Choosing Commons Partners with potential synergy for intellectual engagement, and supporting these partnerships through programming and collections support.
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2 thoughts on “A Vision, articulated

  1. Overall, I think this is great! I just have a few comments:

    On the first sentence: “Creating library spaces that evolve to remain relevant to undergraduate student research & study modes, while applying emerging and mature technology as useful, and leveraging the unique role of the library as a non-disciplinary academic space on campus.”

    Something about the phrasing “remain relevant” rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it’s because it sounds like the library will not be relevant. Perhaps changing the wording to “Creating study spaces that evolve to accommodate…” or maybe “enhance”? Or “enhance and support”? I’m looking for something positive and proactive that shows a forward-thinking attitude, not one that sounds reactive.

    And the first bullet point – you have some parallels, but not the third element. Perhaps change to:

    Addressing study space needs of undergraduate students – for example: collaborative or solo, quiet or dynamic, late night or early morning.

    (We have a lot of students who want to get in some studying before classes start at 8 am, or print out a paper, but only a small portion of the library is open before then.)

  2. Amanda thank you!
    I struggle a lot, in general, about the phrase “remain relevant”. I hadn’t thought of it as reactive, mainly because I don’t think the work that flows from the concept is reactive (I see it as assessing and addressing trends in studenty learning). So I really appreciate the proactive rephrasing!

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