Subject Area

Library science


Providing a collaborative learning space with appropriate services and resources for our undergraduate clientele, but with just two physical rooms, a limited budget and the commons concept to guide our decisions, was challenging. The context and mission of the Library within the University were important considerations and the theoretical and practical drivers for change as they relate to our goals and aims will be examined. Creativity in the use of space and clear, focused project management were also key factors in creating a successful Commons environment. The results of the changes made, and an assessment and evaluation of the project will be presented.


June 2007









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This presentation was given at the NorthEast Computing Program (NERCOMP) Event "Uncommon Commons" held Tuesday, June 5, 2007, at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center, Norwood, MA. Event organizer/hosts: Beatrice Pulliam, Providence College, and Lisa Wiecki, Brandeis University.

Workshop introduction: "The term Information or Learning Commons has been used to describe a wave of integrated service environments cropping up in libraries around the globe. These collaborative learning spaces are a place where information seekers have ready access to services and resources. Each institution seems to have its own special interpretation or spin on what a "commons" is or does. For some libraries the ideas and concepts surrounding the "commons" translate into something unique, unusual… uncommon. In this session we will showcase examples of creative use of existing space, staff, and resources in the implementation of a "commons" environment. Models of smaller, informal, inexpensive common spaces in libraries and other information service environments will also be highlighted."

For more information on this event and presenters visit: