`Library Commons`?

Dr. Farzana Shafique
Asst. Professor & Director of Female Libraries & ILRC, UD - KSA
Dr. Raed Al-Bukhari
Dean Library Affairs, UD - KSA
 Background
 Objectives
 Methods
 Our Context
 Conclusions
of the Study
What is the ‘Library Commons’?
Commons are resource domains in which
common pool resources are found (Buck, 1998).
In the old days, the “village commons” was
traditionally a place to graze livestock, stage a
festival, to sell the domestic items, to hold the
public meetings or to meet the neighbors. This
concept of social utility underlies the
philosophy of the modern library commons,
which is a flexible environment built to
accommodate multiple learning
activities(EDUCAUSE, 2011).
This concept of social utility
underlies the philosophy of the
modern library commons, which is
a flexible environment built to
accommodate multiple learning
activities(EDUCAUSE, 2011).
Thus, the library commons is a ‘place’ where
students have access to library resources,
productivity software, areas to work
individually or in groups, reference assistance
and technical support to research and
produce projects under one roof (Kent &
McLennan, 2007).
Why Do we Need a Library
The Library Commons have established themselves as a
place where students come to engage in collaborative
learning by providing the spaces, technologies,
information resources, and expert assistance to support
that learning. It brings together the functions of
libraries, labs, lounges, and seminar areas in a single
community gathering place. This face-to-face forum
supports the sharing of student ideas outside the
classroom, complementing the shift in pedagogy
toward collaborative media and team efforts.
Four Stages of Change
According to Beagle (2004), a transition from
information to learning and research
commons depends on four stages, such as
 adjustment;
 isolated change;
 far-reaching change;
 transformation.
Methods Used
 This presentation aims at sharing a good practice at
UD library;
 This is not a research paper; however, ideas expressed
here are based on:
 Review of Literature;
 Review of local users’ needs and cultural
 Virtual or physical visits to library commons;
 Discussion with experts;
 Personal creativity
Our Context
Our Context
Keeping the importance of the Library Commons in view,
the Deanship of Library Affairs at University of Dammam
has decided to establish a library commons at UD. As a
guiding theory, it has adopted the guidelines of Beagle for
establishing its library commons. In this perspective, the
Deanship has made necessary arrangements for the first
two stages of adjustment and isolated change by
making necessary changes in the environment and by
providing needed tools and technologies. And now the
Deanship of Library Affairs has the dream of achieving the
next two stages i.e., far-reaching change; and
Goals/Objectives of the ILRC:
 To provide customized, expert assisted, and user-
centered access to information through print
books/journals, online resources and ILRC help desks;
 To cultivate the collaborative, ethical and lifelong
learning values among students, staff, and faculty;
 To proliferate highest quality scientific research,
innovation and development culture at UD;
 To compete and lead the World with advanced 21st
Century skills and technological tools.
Our Definition of the ILRC
“The Deanship of Library Affairs,
University of Dammam has decided to
develop an Information, Learning &
Research Commons (ILRC). The
name ILRC denotes to different
commons zones characterized with
different objectives, activities and noise
Different Zones of the ILRC
 Green Zone (Collaborative Learning
 Yellow Zone (Information
 Red Zone (Research Commons);
 Cafe Zone
Green Zone
(Collaborative Learning Commons)
 Collaborative Learning zone
 Open Discussions
 Group Presentations
 Book the place for your presentation
 Medium level of noise is allowed
 Cell Phones are allowed
 Wall mounted/or portable large LCD Screens
 Computers for collaborative learning or individual use
 White board for collaborative teaching/learning among
student groups/peers
 Use of iBrainstorm/Endnote/Blackboard software
 White board marker and duster can be issued on UD ID.
Yellow Zone
(Information Commons)
Only low level noise is allowed + No Cell phone
Small group studies are allowed with low level noise
Study Carrels for individual study
Multipurpose Help Desk (Reference and Information Help,
IT Help, E-learning Help, Language/Writing Help
Get Research Commons membership + Make an
Appointment for Research and Learning commons services
+ make a booking for CLZ/TCZ + get registered for a course
OPACs (at-least 3 PCs)
E-scanning Services + Self Check-in Check-out Service
Sofa sitting for relaxed study
Issuance Desk of material for learning commons (white
board markers, dusters, i-pads/laptops).
LCD Screens on Group study tables.
Red Zone
(Research Commons)
 No talking + No Cell Phones
 Only members of Research Commons can use the service
 Mandatory research production by the members
 Make an appointment for getting orientation about services of
Research Commons
Research classes/courses/ research supervision/coaching (scheduled
classes on Tuesday)
Computers/smart board/white board/important research related
Referencing & copyright training trough Turn-it-in and EndNote
Advanced Certificate Courses (arranged locally or in collaboration)
Attendance of the users on daily bases
Photocopying/printing/scanning facility
Reserve the space for your lectures/workshops (reservation is allowed
for faculty only).
Cafe Zone
 Eating and Drinking is allowed
(student will wipe the table after
eating and drinking)
 Smart tables and chairs
 Cold Drink vending machine
 Cell Phone calling/listening is allowed
Which services are
Services offered by ILRC
 Technology Help;
 Information Resource and Online Searching Help;
 Intensive Research Help; help in study design/research
methodology, statistical analysis, using SPSS...etc.
Laptop/ipad/e-tab checkout facility;
Library/ILRC Minutes: every week new bulletin will be
prepared in the form of news clips or videos for displaying
on screens of different spots;
Thinkers’ café = with Idea Playground Screens;
Register your workshop/collaborative learning/discussion
topics along with reserving the space;
Virtual Space for ILRC services;
Services …
 Use of Commons Spaces for teaching and learning with peers;
 Availability of Private carrels for PhD students, researchers and
Registration for multiple ILRC services
Use of Media Lab for idea generation and presentation through video
Referencing Training:
 Bibliographical citation management training
 Use of End-Note (Web and Desktop versions);
Copyright Training:
 Copyright material policy
 Academic honesty and preventing plagiarism;
 Use of Turnitin
 Detection and prevention of plagiarism;
 Development of student writing skills.
What are our Policies?
All the services and facilities of the ILRC can be used
under the defined policies. The policies are related to:
 Membership of the Research Commons;
 Reservation of Collaborative Learning Zones for group
Registration for workshops/seminars etc.;
Lending of Laptops/i-pads/e-tabs;
Reserving the media lab and resources for
seminars/workshops by the faculty;
Food and beverage within the ILRC;
Equipment damage or overdue fines/penalties.
How We Will Evaluate the performance of
It is also important to evaluate the outcomes of
resources and efforts of the ILRC. In practice, there
are two types of surveys: a) In-person Surveys; b)
In-class Surveys.
 In-person Surveys: Services used in the Commons on a
typical visit.
 In-class Surveys: Use of Commons services and spaces
or feelings about the value of the Commons and their
experience of the place.
So, UD has decided to use both types of survey for
evaluating the performance of its ILRC.
It is concluded with the feeling of pleasure and
excitement that with the planning and
establishment of the ILRC at UD, the library
and information professionals have opened the
doors of new services at the university.
This innovation has been appreciated by the
UD community at large and has given a
remarkable respect to the library and
information professionals.
However, still this ILRC is in its
infancy. When the principal author
is sharing this experience, it has
been very recently implemented
at female campus, while it is in
implementation phase at male
campus of UD.
It is strongly believed that if
implemented truly, it would change
the learning, research and
scholarship landscape not only
within the university but within the
Thanks for your
 Beagle, D. (2004) ’From Information Commons to Learning
Commons.’ Information Commons: Learning Space Beyond
the Classroom. California.
 Buck, S. J. (1998). The global commons: an introduction.
Island Press: Washington, DC.
 EDUCAUSE . (2011). Things you should know about: The
modern learning commons. Retrieved June 14, 2013, from:
 Kent, P. G. & McLennan, B. (2007). Developing a
Sustainable Staffing Model for the Learning Commons:
The Victoria University Experience.Paper delivered at the
International Conference on Information and Learning
Commons: Enhancing its Role in Academic Learning and
Collaboration, The Hong Kong University of Science and
Technology Library. 10 – 11 December 2007.

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