Learning Center moving to OSF Library Center
By Dan Gjelten, director, IRT Libraries, and
Deb Alberhasky, IRT Client Services
The Learning Center is moving to the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center as a first step in the creation of the Information Commons at UST (see March 17 Bulletin Today article).
Mirroring to an extent the Information Commons already in place at the Charles J. Keffer Library in Minneapolis, this initial development brings together in one place O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center support for research, writing and information literacy and St. Paul Client Services computer application support to assist students’ development of papers, presentations and projects. Like those in Minneapolis, consider this first St. Paul activity “one-stop shopping” for learning support that enhances the respective contributions that the IRT Libraries and IRT Client Services make to scholarship at St. Thomas.
Supporting the educational mission of the university by helping students distinguish among the many sources of information available to them is one of the library’s principal goals. The Information Commons will make it easier for staff to provide training and instruction in the principles of information literacy – best use of library and online resources in an information-rich environment.
The Information Commons is also an effort to enrich community at St. Thomas. The library has always played a role in the social dimension of learning on campus. Facilitating interactions among students, faculty and Information Commons staff is an important goal for the changes occurring in the university library. We acknowledge that learning has a social dimension, and are designing the Information Commons to provide spaces for group activity, individual work and a place where formal and informal interactions can occur. Future possibilities to meet this goal include the addition of a coffee shop.
Parallel to the development of new ways of using library physical space is the creation of new virtual spaces. The Virtual Information Commons is under development to provide equivalent services via the Web – a “scholar’s portal” with access to online reference resources.
As you consider these developments, we ask that you assess them as pilot projects. Ongoing evaluation of outcomes and preferences will accompany the Information Commons’ development and implementation of physical and virtual spaces. Your feedback about your experiences in these new spaces will help us revise services and resources to best meet your needs.
What’s happened so far?
Over the summer, several physical changes were planned. Some of these changes already have happened; others are scheduled to happen in the weeks ahead.
Here is a list of the physical changes:
Revisions probably will be necessary, but the principle behind the changes made to date is one of flexibility – we want this space to be dynamic, collaborative and customizable. We look forward to your feedback to enhance these services.
What does this mean for the Learning Center ?
Users of the Learning Center will have access to the same resources, plus library reference and research services. All computers in the Information Commons will have network access, the full Internet, all library databases and all productivity tools (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) that were on Learning Center computers. Support for library research and for the use of these productivity tools will be available.
The O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center will open at 7:30 a.m. Library closing time will continue to be midnight , except during weeks prior to finals.
What services are available in the new Information Commons?
Below are services that will either move or have been added:
We are very excited about the service and support opportunities these changes present for our community. Watch for more news in the Bulletin Today as the UST Information Commons evolves. And, don’t wait for us to contact you. If you have feedback, we welcome it now. Please e-mail us (Deb or Dan) at your convenience.