Three new documents and reports from some repositories

Here are three new reports that came in under my radar.

“‘Seeing’ the elephant: Assessing the impact of library-composition program collaboration on first-year student learning” by Erin E. Rinto, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Poster paper presented at the 32nd Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience.

Though university libraries and composition programs have historically collaborative relationships, these partnerships can take a variety of formats, including single course period library sessions, teaching-the-teachers, and librarian-driven assignment models. A hybrid of these collaborative approaches was implemented Fall 2012 at UNLV in an effort to provide first-year composition students with a more systematic information literacy experience in the required ENG 102 course. A two-pronged assessment method was used to evaluate the impact of the collaboration for both first-year student learning as well as to implement programmatic change.

Libraries as co-working spaces : understanding user motivations and perceived barriers to social learning” by Mark Bilandzic and Marcus Foth (2013) Library Hi Tech, 31(2). (In Press).  This manuscript is hidden in the repository until March 15, 2013.  One can still request the article from the author or get it from the publisher.

This paper aims to inform design strategies for smart space technology to enhance libraries as environments for co-working and informal social learning. The focus is on understanding user motivations, behaviour, and activities in the library when there is no programmed agenda. The study analyses gathered data over five months of ethnographic research at ‘The Edge’ – a ‘bookless’ library space at the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, that is explicitly dedicated to co-working, social learning, peer collaboration, and creativity around digital culture and technology. The results present five personas that embody people’s main usage patterns as well as motivations, attitudes, and perceived barriers to social learning. It appears that most users work individually or within pre-organised groups, but usually do not make new connections with co-present, unacquainted users. Based on the personas, four hybrid design dimensions are suggested to improve the library as a social interface for shared learning encounters across physical and digital spaces. The findings in this paper offer actionable knowledge for managers, decision makers, and designers of technology-enhanced library spaces and similar collaboration and co-working spaces.

Learning beyond books: Strategies for ambient media to improve libraries and collaboration spaces as interfaces for social learning” by Mark Bilandzic and Marcus Foth (2013) Multimedia Tools and Applications. (In Press) The manuscript is hidden until December 2013.  One can still request the article from the author or get it from the publisher.

With the advent of digital media and online information resources, public libraries as physical destinations for information access are being increasingly challenged. As a response, many libraries follow the trend of removing bookshelves in order to provide more floorspace for social interaction and collaboration. Such spaces follow a Commons 2.0 model: they are designed to support collaborative work and social learning. The acquisition of skills and knowledge is facilitated as a result of being surrounded by and interacting with a community of likeminded others.

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