How fast fall falls! 

As we get our new academic year underway, it is a great time to share updates on where library learning commons planning stands.

The Library Learning Commons Ad Hoc Steering Committe, with input from many students outside of the committee, submitted to the President a prioritized list of the Library Learning Commons Proposal. This proposal, developed collaboratively with our campus under the guidance of the Bright Spot Strategy team, has been evaluated along with other proposals as part of our campus Strategic Planning – Implementation Planning Group. Those projects will be presented to the Hampshire College Board of Trustees this week, and all of us in the library and involved with LLC are eager for news back!

In the meantime, to build upon the good work done last year by the LLC Steering Committee, Hampshire’s President Jonathan Lash has been generously awarded a grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation to support further planning. We are all convinced that strategically thinking through the service model and how to integrate services is critical before we get to the next stage of actually designing spaces.

A few events are planned:

On Monday 9/8 Joan Lippincott, convener of the Coalition of Networked Information Designing Libraries for the 21st C., visited the Harold Johnson Library, and presented on campus abut exemplary learning commons spaces in her presentation Library Learning Commons 3.0: Focusing on Learning + Community. IMG_9493

Joan’s slides are available online:

Library Learning Commons 3.0: Focusing on Learning + Community




At the end of September, a team from Hampshire College will travel to the University of Calgary to attend the 4th annual Designing Libraries for the 21st Century conference. We are excited to learn more, and talk with others engaged in experimenting with library spaces, technology, and services to meet ever-evolving curricular needs. We don’t plan to copy what we see, but want to be informed by what is happening out in the broader world before we begin the real work of creating our own Learning Commons through an engaged process informed by current students and future pedagogical goals. The team attending the conference includes:

  • Jennifer King, Director of the Library
  • Eva Rueschmann, Vice President of Academic Affairs
  • Jeff Wallen, Dean of HACU
  • Carla Costa, Creativity Center
  • Asha Kinney, Assistant Director of IT for Teaching and Learning
  • Bob Crowley, Director of IT
  • Alana Kumbier, Critical Social Inquiry and Digital Pedagogy Librarian

This fall, we also want to prototype ideas put forward in the Learning Commons Proposal and are going to be reaching our to student colleagues in Hampshire Student Union to explore their ideas for use of the Airport Lounge as well as working with Advanced Media Services and the Creativity Center to explore increasing visibility of maker spaces that already exist.

As always, please direct questions, comments and ideas to me, Jennifer King by emailing jking@hampshire.edu. Would love to know what you’re thinking and am always happy to meet for lunch or coffee and plan this together!

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