Home Editorial Connecting You to Information and Each Other

Connecting You to Information and Each Other

by Spencer Brayton

So, what is a Learning Commons anyway? The Learning Commons is a model of academic libraries that focuses on collaboration, partnerships and enhanced service offerings. We have moved away from being a passive environment. Our staff is focused on educating students and supporting them with a wide array of services. The Learning Commons reflects a trend in higher education where the library needs to support the needs of its parent institution, and at Blackburn we are focused on the success of our students. Your Learning Commons is made up of three services: library services, tutoring services, and the Writer’s Block. The space is designed to make your work easier and meet your needs. We’ve increased our hours and brought together multiple services together in one location to make your time at Blackburn a little easier. Think of the Learning Commons as a community environment on campus to study, get some help with your research and understand assignments, meet as a class or in small groups, hold club meetings and events, view student artwork, or to check out some of our programs for the semester. Most importantly, it’s our challenge to change what “library” means to you. We are not a dark, closed off environment meant to only house a collection of books. We’ve created an active environment with technology and space to suit your needs. Our staff is committed to strong customer service and collaboration. This is Lumpkin Learning Commons.

“I wish I would’ve known about your services when I was a freshmen!” “Can I hold my class in the Learning Commons this semester?” “Can we hold [insert event name here] in the Learning Commons?” I’ve heard similar comments and been asked these questions on more thanone occasion as I enter my third year at Blackburn. Let’s face it, no one needs to come to a library to access many of its resources, whether librarians or peer-reviewed journal articles. So why does the physical space remain important? Why can’t students, faculty, and staff simply email their library staff, rather than see them in person? Today’s academic library is not only focused on its print collections anymore. Yes, books and print will continue to be important, but technology has allowed the academic library to change its service model for the better. Space design is crucial in developing learning environments that are conducive to individual and collaborative work. Librarians are now partners in educating students, and as educators, we help students navigate the vast amounts of information they encounter in their daily lives. Information used to be scarce and access limited to those who could afford it, but that model has changed. We are now living in an age of information overload where media literacy, information literacy and digital literacy are crucial as we are inundated with information (not knowing what is true and what isn’t). The need to develop these literacy skills is important to your academic success and we are here to help.

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