U of S Information Commons: Reconfiguring the Learning Environment David Fox Head, Information Technology Services University of Saskatchewan Libraries April 9-10, 2001
What is an Information Commons? • a model for delivery of information services • student focused • a partnership of information specialists providing integrated services in a central place Library Computing Audio- visual Study Skills
Impetus for the Information Commons • desktop integration • group assignments
Components of the Information Commons • learning stations • small group workrooms • teaching labs • Information services staff
Learning Stations • Libraries Website • Internet access • email • laser printing and scanning • general "office suite" software: MS Office • broad-based, discipline independent software: SPSS, ProCite, EndNote, Adobe PhotoShop, etc.
Learning Stations, cont’d • resource discovery tools: • database selection "wizards” • common search interface (virtual catalogues, databases) • sophisticated reference linking • Library portal? (My Library)
History of the IC Concept • First implemented mid-’90’s • Canadian sites: University of Alberta University of Calgary University of Guelph University of Toronto • U.S. sites: Estrella Mountain Community College Kansas State University Lehigh UniversityOregon State University University of Arizona University of Iowa, Hardin Library University of Southern California
Our Interest in the IC Concept • First awareness: UofC Information Commons, 1998 • Visits to the UofC Information Commons D. Kichuk - April, 2000 A. Nussbaumer - June, 2000 D. Fox - November, 2000 • Report to LMC: Dec 1, 2000 • Discussion Paper: Jan 12, 2001 • LMC minutes: Oct 12, Dec 14, 2000; Jan 25, Feb 8, 2001
Why does UofS need an Information Commons? • need for improved studentaccess to IT equipment, software, and online information • consistent with the Council ITC report: Recommendations for the Strategic Application of Information Technology at the University of Saskatchewan • addresses key University of Saskatchewan priorities: • the student experience • promotes scholarship • improvement of instructional programs • provides a competitive advantage • provides justification for a student technology fee
Does the IC have to be in the Library? • remaining relevant • maintaining leadership of information delivery • avoiding competitive disadvantage
Promoting the IC Concept: What we’ve done so far • Circulated discussion paper to IT Team • several discussions with Assoc. VP IT & CT (Rick Bunt) • incorporated into draft plan for Student Computing Phase I – Sept. 2001 - general access labs in Arts 110, Thor 132 - walk-up kiosk stations in Place Riel tunnel Phase 2 – Sept 2002 - develop additional general access facilities Phase 3 – Sept 2003 - Library Information Commons - Library Information Commons – Phase I
Information Commons: Phase I • 20 learning stations in Main Library SRR, Sept 1, 2001 • custom built carrels • full OPAC functionality • MS Office applications • incremental casual staffing • dedicated print station • ethernet ports for laptops • wireless access?
Where Will the IC be Located? • Main Floor? • Ground Floor? • distributed?
Conclusion Information Commons • a trend, not a fad • an exciting opportunity!