There’s new thinking from Steelcase Education about the evolving role of libraries and learning commons on campus. As scholarship becomes more balanced between individual accomplishment and group work, libraries are becoming a place where undergraduates, grad students, and faculty can come together to learn, collaborate, and engage with the community. In this presentation, we will share new insights from a recent research project, and discuss how libraries might respond with new ideas to create more effective and engaging learning commons.

Jim’s experience includes over 30 years with Steelcase, where he currently leads a team that is focused on serving higher education and K-12 clients throughout North America. His passion is helping colleges and universities create innovative spaces that enable higher levels of student engagement and empower faculty to create great teaching and learning experiences. He has been involved in helping schools of all sizes plan and implement innovative solutions for classrooms, libraries, media centers, student life, social spaces, faculty spaces, and administrative areas.

East Carolina University’s Joyner Library has recently undertaken several building projects to foster faculty and student productivity. In this talk, the speakers will focus on the process and design choices of the newly created spaces. The use of virtual reality and 3D printing to envision and plan space designs, as well as the installation of self-service technology, will also be explored.

Katy Webb is responsible for leading a team of 11 individuals who teach more than 350 information literacy classes and provide 200+ research consultations per year. In 2018, she wrote a book entitled, Development of Creative Spaces in Academic Libraries: A Decision Maker’s Guide. This book delves into the topic of data visualization labs, digital humanities labs, makerspaces, and more. She received a Fulbright Specialist grant that will take her to the Netherlands to lead a project to envision the University of Leiden Library’s Scholar’s Lab.

Mark Sanders is the Assistant Director for Public Services at East Carolina University, where he has been actively involved in several building renovation projects. Prior to joining ECU he was the Outreach Services Librarian at Louisiana State University. He holds an MLS from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MA from Penn State University. His professional interests include learning spaces, Access Services, and budget planning.

The Learning Commons at D. H. Hill Jr. Library opened in 2007 and was renovated in 2018-2019 with a new Popular Reading Area and new furniture. The third floor Learning Commons at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library opened in 2013 and was reconfigured in 2018-2019 to create a new Dataspace with dedicated technology and services for data visualization. Adjacent under-utilized spaces were reconfigured to support instruction and collaborative study, based on feedback from students and faculty. Learn how these updates enhanced student learning and interaction for N.C. State.

Gwen Emery is the Director of Library Environments at the North Carolina State University Libraries.  She is responsible for the interior design projects of all NCSU Libraries Prior to joining NCSU Libraries, she was an interior designer in private architectural firms and designed public and academic libraries, corporate offices, conference centers, K-12 public and private schools, performance centers and higher education projects.

Patrick Deaton is the Associate Director for Learning Spaces and Capital Management at the North Carolina State University Libraries. He is responsible for overseeing the design, construction and furnishing of all NCSU Libraries facilities, including the James B. Hunt Jr. Library. Prior to joining the NCSU Libraries in 2009, he was an architect in private practice and designed several major library and higher education projects. He occasionally serves as a design consultant for public and academic libraries.