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tag: Research and learning spaces

Blog Post
February 16, 2022

Understanding Educational Space Needs in Prisons

New Project Announcement

Across higher education, classrooms and study commons have been reimagined to foster student engagement and learning. But for higher education in prison programs, it can prove challenging to find spaces optimized for education, much less space designed to support their educational needs. Access—or the lack of access—to classrooms, libraries, and scientific and computer labs, can play determining roles in the quality of higher education programming. With many competing demands for space, Departments of Corrections (DOC) may be inclined to look…
Blog Post
April 24, 2018

Now Available: Dataset for Library Survey 2016 at ICPSR

Last year we published findings from the Library Survey 2016. We have been running this survey on a triennial basis since 2010 to examine the attitudes and behaviors of library deans and directors at not-for profit four-year academic institutions across the United States. The Library Survey report aims to provide academic librarians and higher education leaders with information about the important issues and trends that are shaping the purpose, role, and viability of…
Blog Post
March 16, 2018

The Services Portfolio of an Academic Library: A Framework

Academic libraries have been rethinking their strategic directions and services portfolios. I have argued recently that academic libraries face certain essential transformations, as they move beyond print general collections towards a variety of other roles. In a current project, Ithaka S+R and OCLC Research have been developing a typology of higher education institutions to explore the different ways that libraries are evolving at a service level. An essential…
Blog Post
October 11, 2017

Leveraging Qualitative Research in the User-Centered Library

Boldly proclaiming that “the Library’s starting point will be from the perspective of users and audiences,” Trinity College Dublin Library’s strategic plan focuses on fostering user-centered approaches to service.  The plan recognizes that an evidence-based approach to understanding patrons’ needs through research is essential to effective service innovation. The library is also committed to promoting a user-centered library culture throughout the library. In support of these strategic goals, I recently delivered a workshop on qualitative research methods for those…
Blog Post
August 8, 2017

University Libraries Are Putting the Student First

Perspective from US Library Leaders

Last week’s article in The Guardian from Alterline’s Ben Hickman, entitled “University libraries need to start putting the student first,” proposed that university libraries need to put evidence on student needs and practices at the heart of their decision-making. The author included a number of suggested areas for improvement – for example, the provision of ample space, friendly engagement with librarians and library staff, and accessible resources. As UK higher education transitions towards taking a more student-centric approach as…
Blog Post
July 17, 2017

Don’t File It Away: Creating Actionable Survey Results

You’ve developed a thoughtful questionnaire, gathered responses, generated meaningful, insightful findings, and now want to share these results to more widely inform decision-making. How do you ensure that these findings are communicated effectively to the right individuals? In spring 2016, Penn State University fielded the Ithaka S+R Undergraduate Student Survey and faced the challenging task of communicating findings from the survey, which covered perspectives from 2,000+ students using 37 libraries across 20 campuses. The Ithaka S+R local surveys, which…
Blog Post
April 20, 2017

Why Are Libraries Changing Their Look?

Strategies Driving the Evolution of Academic Libraries

Yesterday, Teresa Watanabe at the Los Angeles Times reported on universities across the country redesigning libraries for the 21st century by focusing less on books and more on space. Findings from the Ithaka S+R Library Survey 2016, which queried library deans and directors across the United States on their strategy and priorities, demonstrate the ways that these libraries are evolving, and confirm much of the anecdotal evidence provided by the LA Times.[1] Throughout our national survey…
Blog Post
April 3, 2017

Shaping the Academic Library

Today, Ithaka S+R is releasing the US Library Survey 2016, which tracks the perspectives and practices of academic libraries whose institutions offer a bachelor’s degree or higher. We achieved strong participation by library deans and directors, with a response rate of 49%. The project examines the key strategic directions these leaders and their libraries are pursuing as well as some of the constraints against which they act. Our findings fall into a number of key categories: Library directors anticipate…
Research Report
April 3, 2017

US Library Survey 2016

The Ithaka S+R Library Survey 2016 examines strategy and leadership issues from the perspective of academic library deans and directors. This project aims to provide academic librarians and higher education leaders with information about chief librarians’ visions and the opportunities and challenges they face in leading their organizations. In fall 2016, we invited library deans and directors at not-for-profit four-year academic institutions across the United States to complete the survey, and we received 722 responses for a response rate of…
Blog Post
January 4, 2017

The Future of the Print Record

Recommendations from the MLA’s Working Group

The Modern Language Association’s Working Group on the Future of the Print Record released its report last month and I urge the library community to consider it carefully and respond. As a member of the working group, I have been impressed with the collaboration of scholars and librarians in dealing with an issue that is both important and complex. Librarians have witnessed a dramatic change in students’ and researchers’ use of print materials housed in their collections. The convenience…
Blog Post
November 3, 2016

Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment

Notes from the Library Assessment Conference

At the 2016 Library Assessment Conference, we had the opportunity to attend sessions on how to demonstrate the value of libraries, methods for data collection, analysis, and visualization, designing library spaces, and organizational issues facing the community.  The conference, which attracted over 640 attendees, focused on building effective, sustainable, practical assessment. A number of themes that ran across the conference resonate with our ongoing work at Ithaka S+R. Data visualization There was an overwhelming amount of interest from both…
Blog Post
October 18, 2016

Collaborating to Support Undergraduate Student Needs

The Local Survey at UC Santa Cruz

To better understand and support undergraduate student needs, the University Library at the University of California, Santa Cruz contacted Ithaka S+R to run the Undergraduate Student Survey on its campus. Under the leadership of Greg Careaga, Head of Assessment and Planning at the University Library, UCSC ran the survey in spring 2015, and also assisted Ithaka S+R in testing and piloting a new set of questions specifically designed to help academic libraries understand undergraduate perceptions and usage of library…
Blog Post
September 27, 2016

Designing Libraries to Support Community College Students

Among the growing number of ethnographic studies of college students, only a tiny number look at students on community college campuses, and even fewer look specifically at how these students do their academic work and use the library. But community college students constitute an enormous and important group. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 7.2 million of the 20.5 million undergraduates in the US are enrolled in community colleges. And it is important to understand their…
Research Report
September 27, 2016

Reflections on Ethnographic Studies in a Community College Library System

Montgomery College, the community college of Montgomery County, Maryland, has made an enormous contribution to the study of libraries in community colleges with a series of reports about ethnographic studies on all three of its campuses.[1] Tanner Wray, Director of College Libraries and Information Services, led the studies, which gathered information from students and faculty members on how students do their academic work and how library resources, spaces, and services support this work. The Montgomery College project was…
Blog Post
September 20, 2016

Making Space in the Library for New Pedagogies

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…
Research Report
September 20, 2016

Reconfiguring Auburn University’s Main Library for Engaged Active Student Learning

Introduction The effects of technological innovation have been rapid, significant, and well documented, and libraries have responded to changes in the way people read, communicate, and do research by providing digital content and renovating buildings so that they support new, technology-enhanced ways of work. But what about teaching and learning? More and more colleges and universities provide “hybrid” courses, “flipped” classrooms, and “active learning.” Instructors put lecture material online and engage students in group exploration and problem solving during class…
Blog Post
August 22, 2016

Pokémon Stop or Pokémon Go?

Does Pokémon Go deserve a place in our cultural institutions? The stops and gyms are already there and some institutions have already incorporated the game into their programs so it seems like a good time to pose the question. The new Pokémon Go game is based on the Pokémon Game Boy games that were originally released in 1996 and were followed by playing cards, movies, a variety of media productions, and even a theme park. Played on a smartphone, the…
Blog Post
July 13, 2016

The Protolib Project at the University of Cambridge, Part 2

In my last blog post I wrote about the final report on the Protolib Project, which the Cambridge University Library released in April.[1] The Protolib Project, part of the Futurelib initiative at the University of Cambridge, was led by Sue Mehrer, Deputy Librarian, and included extensive participation by librarians and library staff as well as Modern Human, a design consultancy in Cambridge, England. David Marshall, Jenny Willatt, Paul-Jervis Heath, Chloe Heath, and Pete Hotchkin took the…
Blog Post
July 5, 2016

The Protolib Project at the University of Cambridge, Part 1

Cambridge University Library has released a wonderful report about the Protolib Project, an effort, its title states, at “researching and reimagining library environments at the University of Cambridge.”[1] Protolib is one of several projects by an initiative called Futurelib,[2] which has also released a report on Spacefinder, an app that enables students to find just the right place to work in Cambridge’s rich and sometimes confusing array of libraries and other formal and…
Blog Post
May 25, 2016

Farmers and Musicians

A few years ago, I had an interesting conversation with a farmer about a study I was then conducting on academic research practices. “That’s interesting about academics,” she said, “but what about how farmers do research?” This was a very special farmer, an authority on community-supported agriculture and a noted speaker and author: Elizabeth Henderson (check out her book: Sharing the Harvest). We talked some more and, with great enthusiasm, Liz told me about the sources of information she…