The university library commons as third place

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Slides from a presentation at AERA 2013, a study of how students are using library commons and technology

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The university library commons as third place

  1. 1. The University Library Commons As Third Place: Virtual And Social Dimensions Of Learning Support __________________________________________________________ Vanessa P. Dennen, Shuang Hao, Samantha Tackett-Bradt & Wade Bradt April, 2013  1 
  2. 2. Library in “Old Times” 2 
  3. 3. Library as the Third Place 3  ¨  The “Third place” (Oldenburg, 1989) ¤  Library as physical third place n  - support not only quiet study, but social study and just general socialization ¤  Corresponding virtual third place
  4. 4. Research Questions 4  ¨  How do students make use of intentionally designed academic third spaces? ¨  How are communication technologies incorporated into those spaces? ¨  Is there a corresponding virtual component to these third places? If so, what role does it play? ¨  Do students merge physical and virtual third places? What are their intentions and purposes in each space?
  5. 5. Research Method  ¨  Quantitative description of observations ¤  Types and uses of physical spaces ¤  Types and quantity of technologies ¤  Social dynamics among people and within the environment ¨  Content analysis ¤ Archives of students’ interactions via library social media sites ¨  Survey 5 
  6. 6. The Library ¨  First floor (The Learning Commons) redesigned to facilitate social study, is the major observation place for this research. 6 
  7. 7. Library Descriptive Data ¤  Café 7 
  8. 8. Library Descriptive Data ¤  Study Rooms with SmartBoard Technology 8 
  9. 9. Library Descriptive Data ¤  Computer Lab 9 
  10. 10. Library Descriptive Data ¤  Tutoring Area 10 
  11. 11. Library Descriptive Data ¤  Multimedia/ Hi-Tech Learning Space 11 
  12. 12. Library Descriptive Data ¤  Desktop computers 12 
  13. 13. Library Descriptive Data ¤  Modular Tables & Chairs 13 
  14. 14. Observation Findings  ¨  The most used areas of the Library Commons are the café and the study rooms ¨  Learning Styles ¤  Study in groups (Afternoons, Evenings, Weekends) ¤  Study individually (Mornings, Weekdays) ¨  Social Media Use (In approximate percentage) ¤  PCs (98%) ¤  Mobile phone (90%) (92% by the survey results) ¤  Facebook (70%) 14 
  15. 15. Survey Findings 15  ¨  Participants ¤  161 respondents ¤  75% between the ages of 18 and 21 ¤  70% visit the library between two and five times per week ¨  Reason for coming to the library ¤  Individual study(87%) ¤  Group study (59%) ¤  Use the computers (34%) ¤  Socialize (27%) ¤  Tutoring (11%)
  16. 16. Survey Findings 16  ¨  Socialize in the library ¤  Come with friends (52%) ¤  Expect to meet friends (54%) ¤  Expect to see particular person (21%) ¤  Use library resources (21%) ¨  Socialize through social media while in the library ¤  Facebook users (83%) ¤  Twitter users (21%) 44% used these tools to tell friends where they were
  17. 17. Social Media Findings 17  ¨  Data description ¤  9660 tweets containing the library’s hashtag were analyzed ¨  Data analysis ¤  Two functions of tweets: n  Broadcast a student’s status (e.g., working on a paper at the #library). n  serve as attractors, explicitly calling upon companions to come study at the library (e.g., Heading to the library to get some work done on my laptop. Anyone there?) or providing enticing information about the library to motivate others to come.
  18. 18. Social Media Findings 18  A Typical Week
  19. 19. Discussion  ¨  Even when students are studying alone, they may not really be studying alone. ¨  Dispersed social media updates are a core part of the library’s reputation and atmosphere as a third place. 19 
  20. 20. Implications ¨  The findings of this study confirm the value of offering on-campus social study space to students to keep them safe on-campus and encourage the development of good academic habits. ¨  Implications for future development of campus social study spaces as well as the use of corresponding virtual spaces and technologies. ¨  Libraries might mine the social media data produced by their patrons to learn more about the patrons’ needs. 20 

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