Building Vision: Preus Library Planning and Framing Document

This document lays out several areas that the Building Vision team selected as a way to organize a long range plan for the Preus Library facility. The brief descriptions are meant to provide a snapshot of how information and data gathered might serve to shape, enhance, and develop LIS space and services over the next 20 years. The narrative for each issue/initiative provides a gateway to possible scenarios rather than a prescription for or prediction of the future. This methodology provides the flexibility for new information to be easily incorporated into the framework of vision and planning that has been developed.

Short Term Initiatives
During the library planning process, it has become evident there are a number of items that can be completed within the next six months. Rather than waiting until the upcoming 2011-2012 academic year, it is worthwhile for these initiatives to be started yet this Spring 2011 Semester. Projects for consideration are related to access to electrical power, comfortable furnishings, vending options and programming during finals. They are low in cost, high in impact, and will demonstrate to the Luther community that the feedback provided in February 2011 was heard and that we are working to improve LIS, the library, and the services we provide.

Intersections: Food and Drink, Programming and Events

Teaching Spaces
The objectives and resources of LIS has implications for the library as a leader in technology-
enhanced teaching spaces. Our current teaching spaces – Hovde, Curriculum, and ICN – need renovation to facilitate improved interactive learning and presentation. Potential enhancements include clickers, smart boards, document cameras, and mobile computing. Additional, more flexible, teaching spaces will be considered for times when there are a number of concurrent instruction sessions.

Intersections: Learning Spaces, Multimedia and Presentation Space

Learning Spaces
As we see the addition of more virtual resources and selective retention of print resources, space dedicated to learning will take center stage. We have worked to intentionally shape and cultivate these spaces in order to fill a variety of needs and preferences, including collaborative space, group study (both open and enclosed), space for independent work, and quiet study. However, based on feedback and usage statistics, need has been identified for additional group and collaborative study space with a variety of technological capabilities.

With more opportunities for self-directed learning, students should be able to easily connect with the resources and services they need to support their academic work. As more square footage is dedicated to a variety of learning activities, the role of furnishings and ambiance will become increasingly important. Integrated information literacy experiences are moving towards a focus on the creation of information, which shifts the focus from “search and find” to integrate and create.

Intersections: Teaching Spaces, Multimedia and Presentation Space, Food and Drink

Multimedia and Presentation Space
During the past few years, the level of interest in multimedia on the Luther College campus, and other campuses across the country, has grown exponentially. We must evaluate designated space(s) for multimedia production, video recording, presentation, and practice. This includes expanding the number of multimedia stations available, increasing the storage capacity, and evaluating software options.

Intersections: Teaching Spaces, Learning Spaces

Programming and Events
To stay relevant in the future, the library needs to continually “tell the story” of the impact it has on the lives of students, faculty , and staff, and how it is evolving to meet patrons’ needs. A marketing strategy that emphasizes traditional academic and research support and Information Literacy, as well as events that showcase the library as the social and intellectual hub of the campus, may be critical to future funding. A goal would be to plan programs and events for the library throughout the year, coordinating with other campus entities as necessary.

Intersections: Short Term, Partnerships, Marketing, Shelving and Consolidation

Evolving toward the concept of the Learning Commons, we aspire to join academic libraries that are integrating services with closer collaboration in one space. We have identified several potential partnerships that may have implications for space: Writing Center, Student Academic Support Center, Student Support Services, Sustainability, Diversity, first-year experience, and faculty development. The Women’s Center and the Communication Studies Department have also inquired about the possibility of using space in the library.

Intersections: Shelving and Consolidation, Programming and Events

The use of strategic marketing in response to community needs and the changing nature of technology in academia can help constituents understand and navigate the world of information. To some degree, marketing should be a part of everything we do, and will vary in scope depending on the project or initiative. LIS should more intentionally investigate over-arching marketing initiatives, coordinating across the organization and with other campus entities as necessary.

Intersections: Programming and Events, Food and Drink, Assessment

Food and Drink
As indicated by the “My Ideal Library” tag cloud, patrons and staff place a high priority on having food and beverages available for purchase in the library. If library space is redefined, re-purposed, and renovated, top priority should be placed on dedicating a casual study space that allows for food and beverage sales. A wide range of options exist, from those that could be implemented immediately to those that would involve architectural planning and major funding.

Intersections: Short Term, Marketing, Learning Spaces

Shelving and Consolidation
Available space (or lack thereof) constrains LIS’ ability to re-define, re-purpose, and renovate areas within the library building. Ideas for consideration include consolidation of periodicals, compact shelving, weeding, and DEPO transfer. By reducing the square footage dedicated to storage of the physical collection, potential opportunities for new initiatives arise that otherwise would seem impractical or improbable.

Intersections: Partnerships, Programming and Events, Physical Plant

Physical Plant
Measures could be taken to improve the building’s physical environment, either practically or aesthetically. Proposed ideas for discussion include expanding to the back of the building, changing ceiling configurations, rethinking technical services space, relocating the Archives Reading Room, securing a reliable elevator, installing more outlets, enhancing lighting, accommodating additional LIS staff in the building, and creating a back exit.

Intersections: Shelving and Consolidation

During LIS’ recent Ideas campaign, patrons have suggested a number of potential policy changes regarding library functions and operations. Policies that are ripe for discussion include library hours and after-hour study space, check-out periods from the Curriculum Collection, late fees, and accommodations for visiting scholars. Patron feedback also indicates an interest in displaying student art and in broadening the selection of Leisure Reading, DVD, and CD titles.

This is an area where we need to bring together the threads of what is already being done by way of assessment, and decide what needs to be assessed in order to improve services and collections. Strategic selection of initiatives should be done: existing or ongoing projects that do not already have an assessment component should be examined to determine how an assessment piece could be built in. New projects and initiatives should be developed with an assessment piece incorporated into the process and timeline. All members of the organization should be part of a conversation about different types of assessment, and what assessment can be used for.

Intersections: Marketing

Each of the areas identified above has been fleshed out in more detail with a projected timeline for implementation and an anticipated level of impact. As we move forward on ideas and initiatives, we will continue to involve LIS members and campus constituents in our planning and feedback processes, taking care to reach as many user groups as possible, including those who do not currently utilize physical or virtual services. Additional study will be done and data gathered, both specifically for this long-term project and for other LIS initiatives that will serve to cross-pollinate in new ways.

In order to provide thorough and targeted direction for each of the areas identified in the document, we recommend that teams from across LIS be generated to address each of the areas separately, picking up where the Building Vision team has left off and further developing the scenarios with new research and information. We see this an an initial “next step” for each issue, with team members consisting of those interested in different facets of the library facility and space planning. Team members may also include those impacted by potential changes and one or more members of the Building Vision team.

We see the ongoing plan to address these issues to be overlapping and iterative, with feedback and assessment components built in to the process and involving not only LIS members, but as many campus constituents as possible.