The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded $1.2 million grant to develop a Knowledge Commons in the HFJ Library

The Plan

In the Learning Commons, the Library will jointly offer services with Information Technology, the Creativity Center, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and these academic support programs: the Writing Center, Transformative Speaking Program, Quantitative Resource Center, and the Center for Academic Support and Advising. At present these programs each offer services to the campus independent of each other and are geographically distributed across the campus and within the library. With this funding, we will establish three newly conceived concierge services points: Commons Concierge, Academic Concierge, and Media and Technology Concierge. While all of these departments are not moving into the library, through the concierge model, students will be able to access their support through one-on-one consultations and workshops. We further plan to build a peer mentor program under each highly skilled service area, broadening support for the curriculum and expanding student engagement in development and dissemination of these resources.


This new model transforms the Harold F. Johnson Library into an integrative hub of content, tools, and services to support Hampshire’s inquiry-driven curriculum. We will collaboratively improve services to students, faculty, and staff enhancing the library’s coordinating role and providing improved access to technology and academic resources in Hampshire’s most central, highly visible and interdisciplinary space.


This library transformation was initiated in 2013 when Hampshire decided to renovate the library to establish a new learning commons. The physical renovations to the library are being planned as part of the Knowledge and Wellness Commons, reanimating the connection between mind and health in the connected Harold F. Johnson Library and the Robert Crown Center. The “Learning Commons 3.0” services will unfold over a period of four years, and involve several stages.

To learn more:

See article by Lisa Peet in 2/25/2016 issue of the Library Journal

and the Hampshire College Press Release: “Mellon Grant of $1.2 Million Funds Reinvention of Hampshire Library

All thanks go to the extraordinary members of this community who served on the Library Learning Commons Steering Committee and, with broad input and engagement, developed this plan:

  • Ines Aguilar, Rehamping Student Representative
  • Cole Cateneo-Ryan, Rehamping Student Representative
  • Carla Costa, Creativity Center Associate Director
  • Bob Crowley, Director of Information Technology
  • Jaime Davila, Associate Professor of Computer Science
  • Anne Downes, Senior Associate Dean of Advising
  • Ira Fay, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Game Design
  • Sarah Hews, Assistant Professor of Mathematics
  • Marjorie Hutter, Director of Foundation and Government Relations
  • Asha Kinney, Assistant Director of IT for Technology, Teaching/Learning
  • Alana Kumbier, Critical Social Inquiry and Digital Pedagogy Librarian
  • Thom Long, Five College Assistant Director of Architecture & Design, Director of Creativity Center
  • Kristen Luschen, Dean of Multicultural Education and Inclusion, Associate Professor of Education Studies
  • Byron McCrae, Dean of Students
  • Oliver Martinez – Rehamping Student Representative
  • Erika Miranda, Hampshire Student Union Student Representative
  • Jeff Wallen, Dean of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies, and Professor of Comparative Literature
  • Karina Rosenstein, Rehamping Student Representative
  • Carl Weber, Associate Director and Project Manager, Facilities and Grounds
  • Steve Roof, Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Science, NS
  • Rachel Rubenstein, Dean for Academic Support, Associate Professor of American Literature & Jewish Studies
  • Daniel Schrade, Associate Professor of Art
  • Jason Tor, Dean of Natural Science and Associate Professor of Microbiology
  • Laura Wenk, Dean for Curriculum and Assessment, Associate Professor of Cognition & Education, and Co-Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning


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