Commons handout


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Commons handout

  1. 1. Angela Pierpaoli<br />July 2010<br />The Information/Learning Commons and the Public Library<br />The information commons has played a significant role in academic libraries for the past two decades. A physical space that integrates information, technology, and learning in a collaborative environment, the commons has evolved into a more dynamic but less library-centric model, what some have called the learning commons (LC), or Commons 2.0. Public libraries have been slow to adopt the commons concept, although Toronto Public Library has developed a successful information commons, and Brooklyn Public Library has recently received a grant to establish an information commons at its Central Library. There is an abundant number of case studies to learn from in current library literature (the Journal of Library Administration devoted its first two issues of 2010 to the information commons concept), and there are also prototypical information commons in the area, such as those at Daemen College and Buffalo State College.<br />BECPL has already started to create change that makes it less library-centric and more patron-focused. We are bringing outside agencies in, such as Literacy Volunteers and Project Flight, collaborating with other agencies to bring art and programming into the Library, and are continually changing facilities, resources, and staff. With a space study fast approaching, now is the perfect time to consider a commons concept (if administration hasn’t already) and take advantage of practices in already successful institutions. Creating a commons would provide a framework for all of the changes we are currently undergoing, and would allow BECPL to advance the common good.<br />Based on case studies and observation of patrons at the Reference Desk, I have compiled a list of ideas and suggestions for BECPL to consider in the areas of staffing, technology and computer workstations, services, and facilities (See attached). It is not an exhaustive list, but may serve as a useful starting point in exploring the commons concept.<br />Works Consulted:<br />Applegate, Rachel and David Lewis. “Renewing the Tech-Forward Library: Information Commons Development at the University Library of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.” Our New Public, A Changing Clientele: Bewildering Issues or New Challenges for Managing Libraries? Eds. James R. Kennedy, Lisa Vardaman, and Gerard B. McCabe. Westport Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited, 2008, 225-237.<br />Bailey, D. Russell and Barbara Gunter Tierney. Transforming Library Service Through InformationCommons: Case Studies for the Digital Age. Chicago, American Library Association, 2008.<br />Beagle, Donald Robert with contributions by Donald Russell Bailey and Barabara Tierney. Information <br />Commons Handbook. Book, CD-Rom (Toronto Public Library and other case studies). New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2006.<br />Brooklyn Public Library Leon Levy Information Commons. 2010. 28 June 2010. <br /><br />Daemen College Library. 2009. 6 July 2010.<br />E.H. Butler Library at Buffalo State College. 12 July 2010.<br />Forrest, Charles and Martin Halbert eds. A Field Guide to the Information Commons. Lanham, <br />Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, 2009.<br />INFOCOMMONS-L. Binghamton Listserv. 30 June 2010. <br /><br />Journal of Library Administration, 50.1 (2010). 28 June 2010 <br /><br />Journal of Library Administration, 50.2 (2010). 28 June 2010<br /><br />Oder, Norman. Brooklyn Public Library Gets $3.25 Million Gift for Information Commons: Gift from <br />Levy Foundation Will Transform Ground Floor Area at Central Library.” Library Journal <br />5/24/3010. Library Journal. 28 June 2010 <br /><br />Phillips, John C. and Brian A. Hickman. “Planning an Information Commons: Our Experiences at the <br />University of Toledo’s Carlson Library.” Our New Public, A Changing Clientele: Bewildering Issues or New Challenges for Managing Libraries? Eds. James R. Kennedy, Lisa Vardaman, and Gerard B. McCabe. Westport Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited, 2008, 206-224.<br />Reitz, Joan M. “Information Commons (IC).” ODLIS – Online Dictionary of Library and Information <br />Science. 2004-2010. 28 June 2010.<br />Sinclair, Bryan. “Commons 2.0: Library Spaces Designed for Collaborative Learning: The Information Commons Must Adapt and Evolve to Become Commons 2.0, Fostering Student Learning in New and Creative Ways.” Educause Quarterly 30.4 (2007): 4-6. Educause. 28 June 2010<br />Steiner, Heidi M. and Holley, Robert P. 'The Past, Present, and Possibilities of Commons in the Academic <br />Library', The Reference Librarian, 50:4, 309 – 332.<br />Toronto Public Library Learning Centres: Information Commons. 2008. 28 June 2010 <br /><br />