Monday, March 26, 2007

Library as learning resource center or learning space

The traditional view of the library “as a visual anchor for the surrounding buildings on campus” was appropriate before the advent of technology (Freeman, 2005, p. 1). However the technology has evolved, the library must now be more than a collection of books, a repository of knowledge. This paradigm shift will cause not only the focus of the library to change, but the use of the space to change (Campbell, 2006). It must now be a space where learners gather, work, collaborate and reflect on information.

The college library or learning resource center is returning to it’s role “as an institution of learning, culture, and intellectual community” (Demas, 2005, p. 25). The perceptions of users must now focus on the library as a portal to knowledge, rather than a portal of knowledge. This shift of perception, whether created by technology, or as a result of the presence of technology, must be completed to link information to the act of learning (Lippincott, 2006). The library must now be the “centralized location where new and emerging information technologies can be combined with traditional knowledge resources in a user-focused, service-rich environment that supports today’s social and educational patterns of learning, teaching, and research” (Freeman, 2005, p. 3). The library, or learning resource center, must become the place where people, learners, want to go to work and learn, together.

Learning is now a collaborative activity, involving and including what were typically viewed as print resources, now digital resources, technology and a group of learners. Creating physical spaces where access to resources both print and digital and the physical space where groups can work together, learn together and produce materials is now one clear direction for academic libraries (Bennett, 2003).

Bennett, S. (2003). Libraries designed for learning. Washington, DC: Council on Library and Information Resources. Retrieved March 25, 2007 from http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub122/pub122web.pdf.

Campbell, J. (2006). Changing a cultural icon: The academic library as a virtual destination. Educause Review 41(1), 16-30. Retrieved March 25, 2007 from http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0610.pdf.

Demas, S. (2005). From the ashes of Alexandria: What’s happening in the college library. In Council on Library and Information Resources, Library as Place: Rethinking Roles, Rethinking Space (pp. 25-40). Washington, DC: Council on Library and Information Resources. Retrieved March 25, 2007 from http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub129/pub129.pdf.

Freeman, G. (2005). The library as place: Changes in learning patterns, collections, technology, and use. In Council on Library and Information Resources, Library as Place: Rethinking Roles, Rethinking Space (pp. 1-9). Washington, DC: Council on Library and Information Resources. Retrieved March 25, 2007 from http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub129/pub129.pdf.

Lippincott, J. (2006). Linking the information commons to learning. In D. Oblinger (Ed.), Learning Spaces (pp. 7.1-7.18). Washington, DC: Educause. Retrieved March 25, 2007 from http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/PUB7102g.pdf.

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