Academic librarians, seeing changes in teaching and learning at their institutions, seek to understand these changes and ensure that their spaces, services, and resources respond accordingly. They ask what is different about the work habits and library needs of students in “flipped” and other kinds of active learning classes. By gathering information on new teaching and learning patterns and practices, they will be better equipped to highlight relevant services, develop new ones that address emerging needs, and provide spaces within the library configured to support their students’ work practices.

At Auburn University, pedagogical changes have been underway for some time and several Engaged Active Student Learning (EASL) classrooms have been built around the campus. These rooms provide the seating, screens, whiteboards, and other infrastructure that supports new teaching and learning practices. A new classroom building, currently being constructed, will meet the growing demand for this type of space, simultaneously providing an opportunity to reprogram the main floor of the Ralph Brown Draughon Library, which sits on an adjacent site.

Ithaka S+R was asked to facilitate a study to understand the expectations of faculty members who have implemented new pedagogies and the study habits of students in their classes. The results have enabled a library team and their architects to develop designs that address documented student practices and needs. The library’s original main entrance will be incorporated into an atrium shared with the new building and areas just inside the entrance will be renovated to support the out-of-class-time academic activities of students in EASL classes.

In a new report, Ithaka S+R partners with Bonnie MacEwan, dean of libraries, Marcia Boosinger, associate dean for public services, and members of the Auburn team to describe the project, review its methods and findings, and reveal some plans. The new building and renovated library spaces are expected to open at the beginning of the fall semester, 2017. Meanwhile, see the new building go up on the live video feed!

Work in progress