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Sneak Peek at Phase 2: Faculty Resources in the Richardson Library Information Commons

by Scott Walter 5/9/2013 2:51:00 PM
If you have visited the Richardson Library this spring, you may have noticed the work being done in preparation for the second phase of the library’s renovation, including the relocation of the reference collections, curriculum collections, and more. For the most up-to-date information on what is moving where during construction this summer, please watch for updates on the library Web site and on our “renovation guide.”

Architectural rendering of Information Commons The first floor of the Richardson Library, to be re-dedicated in the fall as the “Information Commons,” will provide a vastly improved experience for our users, including new furniture, enhanced capacity for technology use, collaborative workstations, and easy access to core collections, including the Unwind the Mind Recreational Reading Collection, Chicago Collection, and the DePaul Faculty Publications Collection. For faculty planning their fall courses, however, it will also provide access to two new service programs designed to directly support your teaching and research: the Learning Commons and the Scholar’s Lab.

The Richardson Library Learning Commons will be a collaborative effort between the DePaul University Libraries, the Division of Academic Affairs (e.g., The Writing Center, The Science and Math Learning Center), and the Division of Student Affairs (e.g., Office of Multicultural Student Services). With support from Caryn Chaden, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, faculty and staff currently working in these areas have spent the past several months planning for the launch of the new program and for the introduction of Learning Commons services to new and returning students through orientation programs, instruction associated with the Chicago Quarter, etc. Bringing together existing library services such as research assistance and information literacy instruction with existing partner programs already housed in the library (e.g., Supplemental Instruction), the Learning Commons is envisioned as a “one-stop shop” for learning support for DePaul students in all schools and colleges. We hope you’ll visit the Learning Commons in the fall to learn more about what it can offer your students.

While visiting the Learning Commons, you will also be able to see the Richardson Library Scholar’s Lab, another new program to be housed in the Information Commons and one dedicated to supporting teaching and research that bring together scholarly content, data sources, digital content, and technology tools. A collaborative effort between librarians and academic programs exploring opportunities for teaching and research in areas such as digital imaging, textual analysis and text mining, social science data, and digital humanities, the Scholar’s Lab will provide a new resource to DePaul faculty and students in all schools and colleges interested in exploring innovative approaches to teaching, learning, and research, and will promote engagement between faculty and librarians working with the next generation of digital, scholarly content.

The library is currently recruiting an Information Commons and Student Engagement Librarian, who will serve a key role in coordinating and promoting the services to be provided through the Information Commons and its associated service programs. If you would like to learn more about these programs during the spring and summer, please contact Terry Taylor, Associate Director of Libraries for Research and Information Services.

Related story: Lawler, E. (2013, May 6). Pardon the dust. Newsline, 46 (8). Retrieved from 

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