The Call for the 2013 Perry Chapman Prize is live through May only. Respondents are asked to address the question:
How does the physical campus support
institutional missions of learning and engagement?
Libraries as Informal Learning Spaces— excerpt from the first Chapman Prize Report
SCUP will soon publish the monograph, "Research on Learning Space Design: Present State, Future Directions," by Susan Painter, Janice Fournier, Caryn Grape, Phyllis Grummon, Jill Morelli, Susan Whitmer, and Joseph Cevetello. This team received the 2012 Perry Chapman Prize to support their work.
From the introduction to the report from the 2012 recipients:
Although several hundred articles and a number of books on these topics had been written by the fall of 2012, the field is still at an early stage of development. A first step in creating value from this existing body of work is to gather, summarize, and evaluate how far the field has come in identifying the elements that will allow us to thoughtfully design learning spaces and evaluate their impact. This was the purpose of the project being reported here: a literature review undertaken by a small group of researchers and campus architects/planners who had applied for and been awarded a small grant from the Perry Chapman estate, administered through the Sasaki Foundation in honor of M. Perry Chapman and administered by the Society for College and University Planning.
The excerpt below is from:
Two studies in particular create a framework for studies of libraries as informal learning spaces. Yale University librarian emeritus Scott Bennett (2006) study found that 80 percent of collaborative spaces—those designed to bring together information technology, technological staff, and other student support services—exist within libraries. In spite of this, he presents data from 66 universities showing that their libraries were underperforming for 60 percent of their students and 80 percent of their instructors. Bennett points out that collaborative space serves not only the needs of students but also the librarians, the technology, and the library staff. He recommends a mission-based approach to library design, noting that this approach “insists, as its point of departure, that students are before all else learners and that library space design should be primarily concerned not with services but with learning” (p. 18).
The second important study is a comprehensive ethnographic research project conducted at the River Campus Libraries at the University of Rochester. Foster and Gibbons (2007) looked at student work processes related to writing research papers. They gathered information to address questions about why students choose to work at the library, where else they might work, and what aspects of the library facilitated their work. The researchers used mapping exercises, student-gathered photographs, surveys, interviews, and design charrettes. Their findings paint a detailed picture of students’ study lives that has implications for institutions that want to make the library relevant to those lives:
The researchers also reported results from the design charrettes that show student needs and preferences:
Radcliffe, Wilson, Powell & Tibbetts (2008; 2009) edited a series of case studies that addressed both libraries and other kinds of campus spaces. With regard to libraries, the authors concluded that despite the existence of online resources, a physical place is still important and students like coming to the library when they have staff support in person and their “own space” in the library. Other needs revealed by these case studies included: