Much learning occurs outside of the classroom and some of that learning occurs in the library. New academic libraries are being designed for learning (Beagle, 2006; Bennett, 2006; Turner, Welsh, Reynolds, 2013) but little is known about the relationship of the space to learning and student engagement. Jamieson (2009) calls upon academic developers to consider the informal learning of students when they are planning their learning spaces. He points to the library as being “essential to the university’s status as a place of learning” in its role as a learning centre. Bennett (2014) calls for conscious academic design that fosters learning rather than just creating a space with a bunch of things. Heeding that call makes for challenging times as libraries attempt to engage students in deep learning through providing new spaces and new technologies such as display wall and 3D printing in a neutral environment. But how can learning spaces promote this exploration and deep learning without devolving into a “bunch of things”?
Join a group of librarians, learning specialists and technology experts in a roundtable discussion on learning spaces in a library. Each will present a brief overview of a specific type of space. Participants will be asked to consider how these spaces can foster greater engagement with the students.
Participants will gain an appreciation of the learning potential of new spaces in libraries. They will be able to apply that appreciation to the development and design of learning spaces in their own units and institutions.