Transforming Libraries into Social and Community Spaces -US experience
As new academic and research areas are emerging in today's academic environment in the U.S., and as student enrollment continues to increase in many institutions, it becomes imperative that academic libraries envision
new approaches to provide efficient services and enhanced facilities to students.
Today's undergraduate student will need to work in a team setting with other students. The team's success will largely depend on how efficiently they worked with each other, shared interdisciplinary subject area expertise, gathered all the relevant information necessary for their projects and completed group assignments. They are also required to present
their final project in class as required by the professor teaching this class.
Normally, this presentation is a group presentation requiring elaborate planning, and collaboration while preparing for it.
Students after graduation are also required to effectively work in a team setting in companies they will be working for. Since group work is absolutely critical, students must learn how to successfully collaborate in a team setting, if they are to succeed in real life scenarios. Therefore, to assist students in this endeavor, libraries must envision and design space that provides opportunities for students to learn and apply skills in successfully completing team based projects.
This presentation highlights how libraries at some U.S. institutions have
redefined and redesigned space to inspire successful collaboration, research, group based team consultations, learning through interaction and in the process create engaging learning environments. Collaborative space designs also encourage dialog and interaction among group members to result in active knowledge learning and sharing among themselves. The space must also provide opportunities for quiet and individual learning environments. New technologies, wireless access, latest electronic resources whenever possible,
and equipped classrooms provide excellent opportunities for librarians to create interactive instruction sessions in those learning spaces resulting in active and engaging learning environments