The Learning Commons as Process: Change and Evolution of Vision and Service

Gail Wood, Anita Kuiken

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Memorial Library at SUNY Cortland has had a Learning Commons in place since 2005. In the beginning, the focus was on the Learning Commons as place and presence along with a vision of service; as a place with an array of offices and services in a comfortable setting working together in partnership to provide good, focused service. The services integrate technology and information fluency in energetic and responsive ways. The focus was on creating a space where faculty and students could interact both socially and intellectually while finding the services they needed in one location.

As the partnerships have changed and evolved, change and adaptation has become a key response to providing dynamic services. Rather than the Learning Commons becoming a place, destination, or a static service, the library and its partners continues to find ways to respond to new and changing partnerships, to changes in user needs, and to changes in the culture of the campus we serve. The Learning Commons constantly creates and recreates itself in response to the fluctuations and rhythms of user and culture.

Creating and recreating a Commons is not particularly easy or clean cut. Budget, personnel, personalities, and conflicting ideas and priorities often require nuanced and diplomatic responses. We will discuss this messy, active and evolving process with examples from the Learning Commons experiences at Memorial Library of SUNY Cortland in Cortland, NY.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventCanadian Learning Commons: A Journey in Progress: Been There! Done That! What's Next! - Queen's University, Kingston, Canada
Duration: Jun 16 2010Jun 18 2010
Conference number: 5th


ConferenceCanadian Learning Commons
Internet address


  • librarianship
  • public service
  • learning commons


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