Learning Caves

As you all know, Beckie, Erica, Stern and I have been working on a Founder’s Endowment grant to transform one of the library spaces into what is being marketed as a “learning cave.” As I’ve said before, the idea is to build a sort of learning environment that is rich in collaborative technology, is inviting, and allows groups of many different sizes to leverage that space and technology in order to create knowledge. What Stern and Beckie have committed to doing is to studying the impact that transforming this space has on staff, students, and faculty. All the library has to do is to put up with some changes to library space for a year and give some time for interviews! Pretty fair trade if you ask me.

To that end, the group met on Friday and finalized three proposals of varying size and cost, but all of which retain the core components: collaborative technology, comfortable, mobile furniture, and a desire to research the topic of ways that learning spaces impact the university and the students. Here’s a copy of the actual proposal: Learning Caves (Word 2000 .doc).

Like I said before, there are three components:

The First Idea: a full revitalization of LIB 136

  • All new furniture; tables and chairs with wheels and comfy couches (which is all very expensive!)
  • Two new TeamSpot collaborative work areas that have 42″ LCD screens
  • Relocation of the maps collection
  • Relocation of the ADA workstation

The Second Idea: cut the number of TeamSpot places in half

  • All the same as above
  • Just one TeamSpot collaborative work center

The Third Idea: retrofit existing spaces

  • Take the group study rooms in LIB136, LIB239, LIB251, and LIB252
  • Retrofit them with new, mobile tables and chairs
  • Add TeamSpot to the presentation computer in LIB 239

Note that in each case we keep with our core principles or what I’m calling “software, comfy, mobile.” There’s still a lot of time between now and getting the funding and building the space. So, if you have any comments, suggestions, compliments, ideas, free beer, please direct them my way.

Also, there will be ample time for staff to give “official” input on the spaces as Stern and Beckie will be studying the impact that this new space has on staff over the next year.  So, you know, interviewing you, etc. etc.



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