Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 10.45.02 AMWe are excited to announce that this spring the Harold F. Johnson Library will be able to try out a few key ideas from the Library Learning Commons (LLC) proposal in the Airport Lounge. This project, a collaboration between the Library, the Creativity Center, Hampshire Student Union, Rehamping, IT and Facilities and Grounds, will make modest modifications to the Airport Lounge. The Lounge will become both a quiet study space and a “sandbox” environment for exploring collaborative & flexible, technology-rich student work spaces. This project coincides with the transition of the Airport Lounge from Campus Leadership and Activities in the Dean of Students office to the library.

The renovations planned for the January break are not about big, sweeping permanent changes. Instead, we are creating a clean canvas with flexible components, a space sandbox where we can learn more about how the Hampshire community uses communal spaces and what it will need in the future as the Library further evolves its mission as a knowledge commons.

Through the development of the Library Learning Commons Proposal, the Student Life survey, and the creation of the College’s strategic plan, we’ve learned a great deal about the kind of spaces that the Hampshire community is looking for:

  • Flexible and dynamic spaces for out-of-classroom teaching and learning,
  • Spaces that allow for collaboration as well a quiet study, and
  • Spaces that are comfortable and vibrant.

The Library, in partnership with The Creativity Center, has been working together with a team comprised of representatives from the Hampshire Student Union, Rehamping, Information Technology, and Facilities & Grounds to establish goals for this space based on the community input gathered through the LLC and strategic plan. We have shared these goals with a design firm who will help us create a cohesive design for the project.

The Hampshire Student Union has generously opened up their office space for broader student use and a fluid connection between the office and the Airport Lounge will be created through glass walls and unified design.

The renovations will be funded by The Creativity Center in collaboration with the Hampshire Student Union.

As this semester comes to a close, and throughout the January term, construction will take place in the Airport Lounge. During this time, signage will help navigate Airport Lounge users to other available quiet work spaces. This project will not impact 24-hour study in the Airport Lounge – resuming as it would normally with the start of the Spring Semester

In the Spring, it will mean a bigger and better Airport Lounge that fluidly connects quiet and collaborative work spaces with broader access for students, faculty, and campus programs.

Pilot programming of the space will be organized by The Creativity Center but will engage partners from across campus.

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In The Making of a College, the Harold F. Johnson Library at Hampshire was envisioned to be the “educative aorta of the College.” Creating a Learning Commons is in keeping with this vision of a library that serves as the intellectual, cultural and social hub of the college community. With the impending construction of the Portal, and the relocation of the bookstore, we are reimagining the library as a Learning Commons designed to respond more actively, directly, and with greater impact, to the Hampshire curriculum. The Learning Commons will foster community, creativity and curiosity, supporting Hampshire’s student-driven, project-focused work and faculty’s intellectual lives. While much of the Learning Commons project will focus on renovating the ground floor, there are exciting implications for reprogramming spaces throughout the building’s five floors and the adjacent Airport Lounge. The realization of the Library Learning Commons will make visible our institutional commitment to advancing the “experiment” developed by Hampshire’s founders to meet the challenges of liberal education in the 21st century.

Visit the Library Learning Commons blog to learn more!

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