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Vol. XVII, no. 1 TCU Library Newsletter, Web Edition December 2004

INFORMATION COMMONS: LEARNING SPACE BEYOND THE CLASSROOM

Reference librarian"Information Commons: Learning Space Beyond the Classroom" was an academic symposium organized by USC (University of Southern California)’s Leavey Library to mark its 10th anniversary. One of the many successes of the Leavey Library at USC was its early introduction of an Information Commons for undergraduate students.

The conference on September 16th and September 17th in Los Angeles brought together a variety of academic professionals and librarians to explore learning outside the classroom, with a particular focus on the Information Commons. For the most part, participants were invited to the symposium. One of the invited institutions was Texas Christian University. Marianne Bobich, Head of Reference, and June Koelker, Associate Dean of the Library, gave a presentation about TCU’s Information Commons.

Information Commons in the libraryThe concept of an Information Commons brings together skilled library services (Reference) with highly trained information technology expertise from a Campus Computing Center. It provides extensive computing facilities, library print resources, and extended hours of service in one location to provide one-stop service for a campus community.

As with TCU, some universities also add services from the university’s Writing Center. Other universities offer specialized technology assistance for faculty to integrate electronic material and electronic delivery of teaching with traditional methods at their Information Commons’ facilities.

Information Commons computersBoth Marianne and June enjoyed two days in the sunny, cool southern California climate as they attended symposium sessions. The opportunity to learn from other universities such as the University of Michigan, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Arizona, and the University of Washington proved helpful for the TCU Library staff.



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