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David Woodbury, North Carolina State Hunt Library

David WoodburyDavid Woodbury is the Associate Head of the User Experience department at NCSU Libraries. He manages public services for the technology-rich learning spaces at NCSU Libraries including the Learning Commons in D. H. Hill Library and the James B. Hunt Jr. Library. He helped plan and implement the new public services model for the Hunt Library and leads several technology initiatives including NCSU's technology lending program. He served as a core team member for the Learning Space Toolkit, an IMLS-funded resource to assist planners with the full life cycle of an informal learning space design project.


Jeanne L. Narum, Learning Spaces Collaboratory

Jeanne L. Narum is the founding principal of the Learning Spaces Collaboratory (LSC), an informal alliance of academic and architectural stakeholders convinced that space matters to learning and committed to what works in planning spaces that serve 21st century learners into the future. Her attention to the impact of space on learning began in 1992 in the context of a major NSF-funded initiative focusing on transforming the undergraduate STEM learning environment for all students. With support from the Mellon Foundation (through NITLE), in the early 2000’s she orchestrated workshops addressing issues relating to enhancing the technological capacities of libraries (information commons) and classrooms. In 2013, the LSC released a Guide: Planning for Assessing 21st Century Spaces for 21st Century Learners. Featuring in the guide are projects representing the ecosystem of learning spaces on a campus: common spaces, libraries and science buildings, repurposed classrooms and labs, etc. Her most-personally interesting undertakings are challenging those responsible for the quality and character of an on-campus physical environment for learning to: identify the right contextual questions; be open to asking what if and why not; arrive at common language for shaping the vision of the project; establish project goals that reflect that vision; and become a community of learners responsible for spaces for learning communities.


Dr. Scott Bennett, Yale University

Dr. Scott Bennett, Yale UniversityScott Bennett is Yale University Librarian Emeritus. Since 2003, he has published extensively on library space planning and has consulted on more than fifty library projects in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere.

Dr. Bennett has extensive experience with library planning, construction, renovation, and restoration at Yale and in his service both as the Sheridan Director of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at Johns Hopkins University and as assistant university librarian for collection management at Northwestern University. As one of the founders of Project Muse, he fostered changes in information use that drive innovations in the use of library space. Bennett served on both the library and the English department faculties of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was senior adviser for library projects at the Council of Independent Colleges. More information is available at his website: http://www.libraryspaceplanning.com   

Presentation abstract:
A Grumpy Old Man's Take on the Learning Commons

This talk describes the environment from which the learning commons emerged, the chief vulnerability of planning for the learning commons, and the trap into which our planning often falls. The priority that fixing dysfunctional space usually commands is our chief vulnerability. Equally serious is the trap of mistaking the things of learning for learning itself, and of thinking with the metaphor of the learning commons rather than about what this metaphor might actually mean. We can spring the trap by grounding our planning in a sound concept of learning and by thoughtful attention to questions of ownership and presence in commons space.  Five (not seven!) habits of highly effective planning are offered.