Print

Print


Beth,

Our institution (public four-year - approx. 6,200 students) recently
completed just such a project. Previously, our Library and Academic
Resource Center (ARC) were located in the same building on separate
floors and without shared space. Students could not freely utilize
resources between entities. Without changing our organizational
structure (as you say is one of your goals), we completed a $5M minors
construction project to renovate our Library building and combine our
Library and Academic Resource Center (which includes learning/tutoring
services and the campus' open-use computer lab) and include a Technology
Assistance Center for students to receive assistance with passwords,
laptop configurations, etc.

Our renovation has been an unqualified success! Since opening the new
facility for fall semester 2005, every number we track (# of visits, #
of tutoring sessions, # of students tutored, Library circulation, etc.)
has shown at least a 100% increase. Students are flocking to our
facility like never before.

To answer your specific questions:

1. Do you have any experience with combining a learning center and
library?
Yes

2. If so, how did it work out?
See above. A tremendous success!

3. What were the challenges and rewards? 
The main challenge was making sure we had adequate space allocated for
everything we wanted to include. We were very fortunate in that our
President allowed the Library Director and me to be in on the planning
and design from the very beginning. We were given a lot of flexibility
in the design process and were allowed input on all aspects of the
project (as long as we stayed within budget!).

The rewards have been beyond all expectations. Faculty and students are
using our facility as never before. Our usage numbers continue to rise.
It's like the new facility added more "legitimacy" to both departments.
The Library Director and I have worked hard to make the collaborative
effort seamless to our users even though, organizationally, we work for
different supervisors.

4. Was an architect involved in design and planning?
Yes. He did a wonderful job of merging the traditional look and feel of
a Library with our high-tech computer and learning entities.

5. How much student involvement was there in planning? 
Student involvement in the planning process was minimal. The
overwhelming student input we received was to include a coffee shop in
the design. We included a "We Proudly Serve Starbuck Coffee" coffee shop
and it is a hit with our users.

6. How much faculty (instructional) involvement? 
A committee consisting of faculty and staff was formed long ago to
explore the validity of renovating our Library building. At that time,
the Academic Resource Center was not included in the plan but, by the
time we received the funds for the project (approx. five years later),
it seemed like a natural blending of services. Faculty have been very
supportive of our efforts and constantly refer students to us.

7. Is the space integrated with classroom instruction in any way?
In addition to our 82-computer open-use computer lab, we have a 60-seat
computer lab with a collapsible wall that can divide the room into two
30-seat labs. These labs are set up in traditional classroom style and
are used by the Library for instruction sessions; by the ARC for
Academic Success Skills workshops, some COMPASS testing, and ARC
orientation sessions; and we schedule the labs for faculty to use when
they have a need for periodic computer instruction or online testing. We
do not have regularly scheduled classes in the labs as they are
primarily for ARC and Library use.

8. Can you recommend any colleges that have exemplary spaces that we
could go to look at -- preferably on or near the west coast?
Macon State College is far from the west coast but you are welcome to
come look. Since word of our new facility has spread, we have had many
tours by institutions wanting to do the same thing you're considering.
We think our facility is an excellent model of the new blended
"Information Commons" approach (even though we rejected that name and
kept the names the same as they've always been).

To get a look at some pictures of our new facility, go to my website at:

http://www.maconstate.edu/arc/

and click on the "Photo Gallery" link. The pictures there will give you
a good idea of our facility.

Since budgets are tight here at the end of the year and it may be
cost-prohibitive for you to come to Georgia, I would be willing to do
the following: I could do a quick and dirty "video tour" of our facility
and post it on the Internet as a streaming video. It would not, by any
means, be a professional quality video (more like a vacation-type video
with commentary) but I think it would give you a broader look at each
aspect of our facility. If you'd be interested in this, please contact
me directly.

In short, the merging of traditional Library and learning center
services, to include computer use and assistance, has been a wonderful
move for our institution. Feedback from all members of our campus
community continues to be positive.

Tim
*****************************************
Tim Vick
Director, Academic Resource Centers
Macon State College
100 College Station Drive, L-136
Macon, GA 31206
Phone: 478.471.2057
*****************************************


-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of beth kupper-herr
Sent: Monday, May 22, 2006 8:13 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Learning centers and libraries sharing space & resources

Aloha from Hawaii,
My community college is starting to look at the possibility of
reconfiguring
space to create a new type of learning environment that would include
the
LRC, Library, and some IT services.  The LRC and Library are currently
on
different floors of the library building (we take up part of the ground
level, the Library is on the next two floors) and operate quite
separately.
The idea seems to be to combine and renovate our facilities in some way
to
enable us to share some costly resources (i.e. technology) and make it
easier for students to use all the services, without changing our
organizational structure.  Terms I've been given that are supposed to be
relevant to this concept are learning commons, learning spaces, learning
environment, etc.  I've read some information (including perusing the
Dartmouth collaborative facilities site
< http://www.dartmouth.edu/~collab/>), but find that the majority of
these
spaces seem to be focused on combining libraries with IT, with much less
involvement of learning/tutoring centers.

It looks like this change would probably involve moving the LRC
upstairs,
something which I'm not sure would be in our best interests unless it
gave
us more space (perhaps our scarcest resource).  While I feel uncertain,
I
feel I need to learn more, since if funds are available for this
project, it
would be a unique opportunity to upgrade our ageing facilities (our
buildings are 38 years old).  After this lengthy preface, here are my
questions:

- Do you have any experience with combining a learning center and
library?
If so, how did it work out?  What were the challenges and rewards?  Was
an
architect involved in design and planning?  How much student involvement
was
there in planning? How much faculty (instructional) involvement?  Is the
space integrated with classroom instruction in any way?  (From my
limited
reading, one of the goals seems to be to have a more seamless connection
between in-class and out-of-class learning.)

- Can you recommend any colleges that have exemplary spaces that we
could go
to look at -- preferably on or near the west coast?  (Suggestions for
relevant websites and publications would be great, too.)

BTW, our campus does not yet have wireless access.  We all know it's
needed,
but so far the funds are not available.

Thanks in advance for any information you can share with me!

  beth

 
)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((
(((
 
Beth Kupper-Herr   
Professor 
Coordinator, Learning Resource Center
Leeward Community College
96-045 Ala Ike
Pearl City, HI  96782
e-mail:  [log in to unmask]
phone/voice mail:  (808) 455-0413

)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((
((( 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To access the LRNASST-L archives or User Guide, or to change your
subscription options (including subscribe/unsubscribe), point your web
browser to
http://www.lists.ufl.edu/archives/lrnasst-l.html

To contact the LRNASST-L owner, email [log in to unmask]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To access the LRNASST-L archives or User Guide, or to change your
subscription options (including subscribe/unsubscribe), point your web browser to
http://www.lists.ufl.edu/archives/lrnasst-l.html

To contact the LRNASST-L owner, email [log in to unmask]