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ALA Annual Discussion Notes and PPT

Here we will post the minutes and files from the Discussion held at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference.

Learning Commons Discussion Group Notes

Topic: What are the roles of the Reference Librarian, paraprofessional, and student in the Information/Learning Commons? How do we ensure adequate knowledge to fulfill those roles?

Table 1

All libraries are different
Need to get buy in
One service desk with all duties shared and trained
Harness student knowledge for other services

Table 2

Roles depend on mission of library
Types of Commons and service points define the roles
IT vs. Library culture; try to find commons ground
Colocation of services at one desk
Desk performs triage

Table 3

Institutional context is important to knowing roles
Accurate referral is essential
IT vs. Library
Use of graduate students at desk or other service points, if they are available

Table 4

Individualized service model to each institution and library
Culture of the library and the university is important to consider when developing services
All library workers need training, especially those who work in public spaces
We need to remember that there will always be some patrons that prefer the “old style” library

Table 5

When a commons is implemented we should seriously consider rearranging staffing
Reference collections are typically not found in a commons, but could be beneficial
Referrals to librarians do not work well, partially due to the added step
Who controls what (budgets, etc.)? IT vs. Library
                There should be a single manager over all commons services
No one has all the answers

Table 6

Assessment of services is essential
Merging reference desks should be considered—“one stop” with tiered reference with on-call librarians
The role of librarian is changing because information seeking is changing
                The way we answer needs to adapt/change
                We need to be more flexible with changing job requirements

Table 7

Staffing depends on the needs of the users and the space served

File attachments: 
UTSA Info Commons Presentation.ppt3.96 MB