The workshop will use the research and planning that has gone into the design for the Learning Commons at the university’s new Waterside campus to explore the assumptions and reality of the modern university library. The library at Waterside will not be a separate building, or even part of a building, but rather will be a fully integrated part of the Learning Commons along with academic workspaces, student-facing services and catering. Library collections and services will be found throughout the building and share a common ethos with the other elements of the Learning Commons to provide a flexible, democratic and evidence-led approach to the creation of learning environments.
Participants will explore approaches to the provision of learning environments, inside and outside of libraries, and work towards an understanding of how the idea of a library can shift across different stakeholders (senior management, students, academics, library staff, other professional services, potential students and their parents). The rare opportunity to build a campus from scratch has asked all involved to suspend their preconceptions about what a university should be and to look afresh at what we offer. This workshop will offer participants that same opportunity.