The Innovative Learning Resource Center.doc by handongqp


									                     The Innovative Learning Resource Center:
                             A Library-centric View
                                    April 2001

It is our vision that the Innovative Learning Resource Center (ILRC) is defined by five
concepts – support for the teaching and learning mission of the Institute, collaboration /
convergence, state-of-the-art technology, research / knowledge management and access.
While the focus is on supporting and enhancing the undergraduate academic experience,
we envision that faculty and staff will converge with students to utilize the ILRC in both
formal and informal activities. Its great appeal is that it is always staffed and available to
customers, both in-person and remote.

We envision that the ILRC serves the Georgia Tech community regardless of School or
College affiliation. The units occupying this space are here because of their broadly
defined mission to serve the education and research goals of Georgia Tech. It is also our
expectation that the space is inviting, providing services such as a café, along with
display spaces for campus research projects and Georgia Tech history, thus making it a
preferred destination in the heart of campus.

In our vision, the Library’s information, reference and technology support services
consolidate and move to the ILRC as part of an overall renovation and reconfiguration of
the existing Library complex. This portion of the ILRC is referred to as the “Information
Nexus.” The Information Nexus provides a convergence of information resources,
technology and expert advice to empower users to acquire, evaluate and manipulate
information relevant to their needs. This service point is easy to find, open long hours
and always well-staffed. Staffing the consolidated information / technology service
points are personnel with both knowledge management and technological expertise to
guide the user through all stages of project research and presentation. Students get off to
a better start with information and technology assistance. Students and faculty, both in-
person and remote, come to rely on a centralized service point for their information needs
related to class work, research and group assignments, and any level of technical
Support for Georgia Tech’s teaching / learning mission
      Expectation: State-of-the-art space is available for teaching / learning by both
      students and faculty. Librarians partner with faculty to teach information literacy
      in these spaces.
      Outcome: Experimentation with teaching and learning occurs. Faculty applying
      innovative approaches to pedagogy are encouraged to use these spaces. Their
      successes are showcased and emulated by other Tech faculty. Innovation is
      celebrated and shared.

       Expectation: A primary emphasis of the ILRC is to provide the services and
       facilities necessary to support and enhance the undergraduate academic
       Outcome: The ILRC serves the Institute’s goal of increased undergraduate
       student retention by providing the necessary tools for academic and research

       Expectation: The ILRC, in collaboration with other campus departments, plays
       an instrumental role in serving the Institute’s remote user groups.
       Outcome: A full array of information resources and services, research assistance,
       and technological support is provided to students and faculty in Distance
       Learning, GTREP and Georgia Tech Lorraine programs.

Collaboration / convergence
      Expectation: OIT personnel collaborate with Library staff to provide expert
      advice on individuals’ advanced technology needs.
      Outcome: Library and OIT staff, working side-by-side, are well positioned to
      offer students and faculty all levels of technical assistance. The close proximity
      of these units creates a dynamic environment in which each learns from and
      reinforces the work of the other.

       Expectation: The space is occupied by campus units that support the education
       and research mission of the Institute. Logical partners include CETL, the Library
       and OIT Customer Support and Educational Technology.
       Outcome: While each of these units has a distinct mission, a complementary
       component of each is to support the education and / or research mission of the
       Institute. Locating these units in a common space provides opportunities to
       introduce information literacy components into the curriculum.

       Expectation: Provide appropriate space and technology for students to
       collaborate on class projects, research and group assignments. The spaces are
       comfortable, flexible, and easily adapted by the groups that use them. The spaces
       are always clean and in good working order.
       Outcome: Provides students with excellent work spaces for group assignments;
       prepares students for the corporate world, where work is performed in teams and
       cross-functional groups, in comfortable spaces conducive to productivity.
       Expectation: The space provides for faculty and students to meet one-on-one and
       in groups.
       Outcome: Mentoring and advisement are improved without the interruptions and
       space constraints characterized by meeting in faculty offices and “make do” sites.
       This is useful for faculty whose offices are located on the edge of campus,
       shortening the distance each party travels to meet.

       Expectation: A café provides beverages and light refreshments.
       Outcome: Individuals can be refreshed without leaving the ULC. The café adds
       a warm dimension to the ULC and enhances the sense of community.

State-of-the-art technology
       Expectation: The ILRC serves the needs of students and faculty at varying levels
       of technological sophistication. Students utilize the space because it provides
       essential support and software at every level.
       Outcome: Users less familiar with digital resources, educational technology and
       software will receive a solid foundation of support which contributes to their
       success. More technologically savvy students and faculty are creatively
       stimulated by the availability of advanced technology, software and assistance
       available at the ILRC. The overwhelming question of where one turns for
       informed technology assistance is greatly simplified by the ILRC model.

       Expectation: The Information Nexus successfully integrates technology with
       service assistance in a centralized location. Remote users are as easily served as
       those on-site. The necessary resources are on hand for start-to-finish completion
       of student assignments and group projects. Library staff will have the training
       and expertise to answer many of these questions.
       Outcome: Student productivity and learning are increased; time is saved; advice
       is conveniently at hand without blind referral and travel across campus to get
       answers to technical problems associated with finishing assignments.

       Expectation: Staff and resources are available to support faculty in using
       technology to enhance the student learning experience. CETL plays a major role
       in this learning enhancement and will have the technical support of OIT and
       Library staff to help implement these new technologies in the ILRC.
       Outcome: Faculty are compelled to take advantage of the staff, equipment and
       support in place to improve their effectiveness as knowledge providers and
       teachers. Library staff gain an increased understanding of how technology is used
       in the classroom, and this knowledge informs our own instructional endeavors.

Research / knowledge management
      Expectation: The Library will, in effect, become the “scholar’s workstation” by
      providing the resources necessary for scholarly research in digital format
      whenever possible. Staff expertise imparts knowledge management skills to
      support the undergraduate research process.
         Outcome: Students effectively identify, access, synthesize and incorporate
         information into their research endeavors. Information research skills imparted to
         students promote the knowledge, teamwork, and critical thinking abilities that are
         essential to success in the corporate/research world and provide a foundation for
         lifelong learning.

         Expectation: Library staff will utilize their expertise to organize, structure,
         manage and provide access to Georgia Tech’s records, thesis/dissertations,
         technical reports and other grey literature, making them accessible not only
         campuswide but worldwide if appropriate.
         Outcome: The Library expands its role in the scholarly communication process
         from acquirer and archivist to that of publisher. Innovative research projects will
         be captured, described and made available digitally.

         Expectation: The ILRC provides flexible space where innovative and creative
         research and projects are displayed.
         Outcome: In the ILRC, departments showcase student and faculty achievements.
         Exhibiting department research builds a sense of community and exposes
         undergraduates to outside areas of study that may interest them.

         Expectation: The ILRC is open and staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
         Outcome: With continuous availability, students are able to use the facilities
         and obtain assistance with their work at whatever time is convenient for them.
         The ILRC is well-positioned as the focal point of the campus.

         Expectation: Adequate and efficient transportation is provided for students
         to and from the ILRC.
         Outcome: The convenience and safety of students is enhanced, and usage of
         the ILRC is maximized.

         Expectation: The Library and ILRC will be connected. A throughway into the
         Library (Gilbert building) from the ILRC will be more frequently used than the
         current entrance. The placement of materials, users spaces and service points will
         be logical and efficient. Materials in the existing buildings must remain secure.
         Outcome: The passageway between ILRC and Gilbert will require a security
         checkpoint, just as security is provided at the current entrance / exit to Gilbert and
         Crosland buildings. The notion of “open stacks” in the ILRC seems unlikely
         given the presumed difficulty of preventing theft through its several points of
         entrance / exit.
Preparing the way: service and structural modifications to facilitate the migration
to a new building

As the vision and program for the ILRC develops, Library staff should begin now to
assess services in the existing Gilbert and Crosland buildings. We suggest that
organization of services and collections should anticipate the emergence of the ILRC.
We should now begin to leverage our human and material resources to better meet the
dramatic changes in user needs and expectations.

In his article ‘Shaking the Conceptual Foundations,’ Ferguson states that
“. . . information service should be reconceived to include new partners in support of the
use of technology while undertaking substantially new approaches to on-site and
network-based information service.” We believe Ferguson is correct when he insists that
our emerging “generation of information service must not only advance the notion of
integrated information service both on-site and remote, but it also must . . .be supported
by an organization that enables librarians and technologists to work closely together in
designing systems, delivering services, allocating resources, and exploring new

1. Our several information service points (Reference, Technical Resources and
   Government Information / Maps) will consolidate into a single information
   service area before occupancy of the ILRC. Information points currently organized
   around discrete collections of print, micro-format, current periodicals and government
   information will evolve into a spectrum of services that complement the current and
   evolving digital reality. Books, journals and other physical formats will continue to
   be used, but will no longer dictate the way we organize our response to user needs. A
   consolidation of information services in Crosland must occur in the time leading up to
   occupation of the ILRC. When the ILRC is built, this single information point will
   migrate there to become the Information Nexus. In both the near and long term,
   information staff acquire technical and knowledge management expertise appropriate
   for a digital world. Outreach to campus constituents is intensified.

2. A second customer contact point in the Crosland building will consolidate
   several support services. This service point may combine units like document
   delivery, copying services, access to micro-format materials and perhaps other
   functions, into a merged enterprise. This support services group will remain in either
   Crosland or Gilbert when the ILRC is occupied since the collections it serves will
   remain in these buildings. Students and faculty benefit from this consolidation, and
   fewer staff are required to provide coverage and user assistance.

3. At the time of the move into the ILRC, the Circulation department will likely
   expand its role to include basic information services in addition to mainstream
   circulation functions. Students and faculty in the Crosland and Gilbert buildings
   will benefit from fewer service points. Circulation staff will be on hand to identify
   and find materials for users.
4. The Library should begin now to partner with OIT in an experiment to provide
   improved technology support to students. From our discussions with OIT staff,
   and from our research, we believe that Tech students will benefit from getting
   technology assistance from the same site that provides information support. Early
   collaboration will provide helpful insight into how, and to what extent, our services
   may converge and complement each other when we work together in the Information
   Nexus. Extraordinary commitment from both parties will be required to identify
   customer needs, staff training, turf responsibility and leadership issues.
   Experimentation, risk-taking and assessment should be emphasized. In this near-term
   experiment, Library staff will begin to provide a higher level of technical support.
   This support, in response to the critical needs of undergraduates, will come from the
   reference / information staff. The Library should begin discussion soon with OIT’s
   Customer Support and Educational Technology units to identify the first goals in a
   necessary collaboration..

5. Training for Library staff and our collaborative partners (initially OIT) ensures
   the highest level of service to students and faculty, and contributes to increased staff
   competency and job satisfaction. Cross-training and awareness of student and faculty
   needs improve both Library and OIT staffs’ understanding of each other’s
   responsibilities, strengthens the collaborative effort, and points out logical areas for
   service convergence.

6. Spaces conducive to individual and group study will be provided in the Gilbert
   building. Individual and group spaces will proliferate, characterized by comfort,
   quiet, and extreme flexibility. Students and faculty will be able to reserve many of
   these semi-private spaces. Some scheduled tutoring may occur here as well (although
   we expect the ILRC to provide significant tutoring space, especially for the core
   undergraduate curriculum.) Gilbert and Crosland may be quieter than the ILRC, and
   more contemplative in nature.

7. Crosland will almost exclusively convert to stacks for the storage of print
   materials, but will it provide enough space for collections? The ILRC must be
   equipped with voluminous compact storage on the ground floor (we presume this is
   the most affordable spot to install a strong floor). It is difficult at this early date to
   suggest what collections it might hold. Perhaps our rapidly expanding Archives and
   Records Management collections, or special collections like micro-format materials
   and government information may move to compact storage. Our decisions must
   result in a logical flow of, and access to, materials across the three buildings.

   We believe it will be difficult for Crosland and Gilbert to contain all physical
   materials we now own and will acquire in the years to come. At this time (April
   2001) the Library has 14,500 empty shelf-feet. This space will be completely used up
   in less than 6 years. If the Architecture Library’s collection were absorbed by the
   main Library today, only 10,000 empty shelf-feet would remain. Print material will
   arrive, at least for the next 10 years, at the rate of ½ shelf-mile per year (2,600 shelf-
   feet). After this time the acquisition of electronic text will significantly exceed print.
   The main collections of print materials should continue to reside in Crosland, and
   perhaps some “logical collections” in Gilbert, though it may be better that Gilbert is
   dedicated to study space.

   In Crosland one imagines the freeing-up of space for book stacks by: removing
   information service staff offices and counters to the ILRC (as mentioned earlier);
   moving current periodicals (even as they diminish in “print” format) onto compact
   storage shelving which is safe for public access; reducing the print map collections by
   relying on electronic cartographic materials; and removing most individual and group
   study accommodations from the center of floors and relegating these activities to the
   peripheries. Carrels along the perimeter of each floor in Crosland should be enlarged
   and made more comfortable.

   In the next month or two, we should measure the stacks storage potential of Crosland.
   This was too time-consuming to carry out in the short time we had to complete this

8. Remote storage versus weeding to gain stacks space. Space could be gained in the
   existing buildings by sending least-used materials to a remote storage site. Such a
   site will be absolutely essential for staging the remodeling of the existing Library
   buildings . . . the ILRC cannot manage the temporary overflow of books.

   While it is difficult to imagine how it could be done expeditiously and wisely,
   weeding of the collections may become necessary on an on-going basis. Dormant
   monographs and government publications occupy a significant percentage of stacks
   space. Can we afford to retain them as our remaining space rapidly diminishes?

9. Elegance on high. The Ferst Room should be refurbished before the ILRC is built.
   There is a big demand for an elegant, ‘room-with-a-view’ meeting space on campus.

Donald Beagle, “Conceptualizing an Information Commons,” Journal of Academic
Librarianship 25, no.2 (1999): 82-89.

Deborah Holmes-Wong, Marianne Afifi, Shahla Bahavar and Xioyang Liu, “If
You Build It They Will Come: Spaces, Values, and Services in the Digital Era,” Library
Administration & Management 11, no.2 (Spring 1997): 74-85.

Chris Ferguson, “’Shaking the Conceptual Foundations,’ Too: Integrating Research and
Technology Support for the Next Generation of Information Service,” College &
Research Libraries 61, no.4 (July 2000): 300-11.

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