Author Archives: Library Systems Admin

Learning Commons to open at UMass Dartmouth

Opening on the first day of the new semester, the Learning Commons at the Claire T. Carney Library integrates library, technology, and academic support services for UMass Dartmouth students, faculty, and staff.

The Learning Commons, or LC, is a cross-campus collaborative effort. It will be administered by the Division of Library Services, Information Resources and Technology with a campus-wide advisory group. They will ensure that the LC continually develops to meet the ever-changing needs of teaching, learning, and scholarship in a technology-rich environment.

The first-floor LC is a comfortable place designed for undergraduates to study, write papers, prepare presentations for class, collaborate with groups, do library research, and get help with technology. The LC offers 39 computer work stations, a scanning station, and a print center.

The welcoming, helpful staff at the LC Service Desk can assist with a wide variety of questions, from library and reference resources to technology services, such as COIN, email, and support for software applications. Students can also meet with tutors from the Writing & Reading Center in the evenings for help with writing papers. As the LC develops, additional academic support services will be available at this convenient location.

Faculty and students who are engaged in more advanced research will want to visit the Scholarly Commons on the second floor. Reference librarians there provide expert assistance and instruction in the identification, evaluation, and use of information resources. The Center for Teaching Excellence—also part of the Scholarly Commons—promotes teaching practices that enhance student learning.
The LC Training and Computer Classrooms on the lower level of the library offer two computer classrooms that are also available for campus-wide training and professional development.

The LC is open during regular library hours, with additional 24×7 access during the last three weeks of classes and exam periods. The lower-level computer classrooms will also be available for student use during peak study times.

The “learning commons” or “information commons” concept has gained momentum on campuses over the past two decades. Many colleges and universities have established them to provide technology-rich, integrated support for learning.

“The opening of the Learning Commons at UMass Dartmouth represents a major step in our ongoing mission to provide integrated library, technology, and academic support services for our students, faculty, and staff,” said Robert Green, vice chancellor for Library Services, Information Resources and Technology.

“As the university plans for the expansion and renovation of the Claire T. Carney Library, the introduction of the Learning Commons allows us to gain expertise in the provision of innovative services to meet the 21st-century learning needs of our students.”

For more information about the Learning Commons, please visit: www.umassd.edu/lc/

DRAFT for review Learning Commons Mission

DRAFT for review Learning Commons Mission

In support of UMass Dartmouth’s academic mission, the Learning Commons creates and cultivates a vibrant, welcoming and integrated learner-centered environment.

We will do so by promoting an environment and support team that

  • inspires learners and fosters learning as an activity
  • embodies and supports engagement & collaboration for individual & group work
  • champions and supports the research process from search and discovery to synthesis and presentation.
  • provides easily accessible and adaptable physical spaces and resources
  • excels at providing rich technological facilities, instruction, and support
  • maximizes individual and group productivity by integrating scholarly information support services and information literacy instruction

Learning Commons – Committee Charge

The UMass Dartmouth Learning Commons (LC) Planning Committee will develop plans for the services, technology, resources, and space for the LC on the first and second floors of the Claire T. Carney Library. The LC will be an interdisciplinary collaborative learning space that will provide seamless access to resources, technology, and people to support teaching, learning, and research. The LC will advance the University mission to be “actively engaged in personalized teaching and innovative research” and will help to fulfill the University’s vision of “providing a personalized academic environment where the scholarly research and creative activities of faculty and graduate students are interwoven with the undergraduate experience.” It will also advance the vision of providing “enhanced technological capabilities for the delivery of our educational and outreach programs.” As an integrated environment that fosters engagement, collaboration, and discovery, the LC will meet the changing and emerging needs of teaching, learning, and scholarship at UMass Dartmouth.

The Committee will consider the following questions:

  • What are the learning styles and preferences of today’s high school and college students and faculty?
  • What type of environment will foster learning at UMass Dartmouth, given changing learning styles and preferences?
  • What staffing, technology, and space are necessary to create this environment?
  • What LC programs would foster this environment?
  • Should the scope of the LC include faculty and staff learning?
  • Which campus units might be involved, and how might they work together?
  • Is it necessary for these campus units to be physically located in the same space to be effective together?
  • What kinds of hardware, software, and seating configurations are needed?
  • What staffing is needed in terms of qualification, and abilities?
  • What are the issues in accomplishing the ideal LC environment for UMass Dartmouth?
  • How can these issues be resolved?
  • How should we measure the LC’s success?

More than 800 votes cast in “chair fair”

More than 800 votes, both online and on paper ballots, were cast in our Learning Commons “Chair Fair,” which ended on September 29. We received lots of thoughtful and helpful comments as well. We’re tallying the results and will report back soon with details about the winning chairs. Thanks for your participation!

For more information about the Learning Commons, please visit the site.

Learning Commons “chair fair”

We’re renovating and creating new learning and study spaces—the very first steps toward creating a Learning Commons at UMass Dartmouth. We’ll be asking your opinion about many of the services and amenities we hope to offer.

Now through Sept. 29, we’re considering new chairs.

Yellow Arm Chair Tan Arm Chair

Visit the “chair fair” on the Library lower level to try out four new armchairs and two new task chairs. You can “vote” for your favorites in person, by using our form, or by sending us your comments via our blog (see below).

Black and Tan Arm Chair Gray Arm Chair

Planned for the lower, first and second floors of the Claire T. Carney Library, the Learning Commons will be a collaborative learning space offering access to resources, technology, and people to support teaching, learning, and research. Additional information is available on the Learning Commons site, and we’ll be posting more news here in the weeks to come.

Robert F. Stoico/FIRSTFED Grand Reading Room Gift Announced

December 5, 2007 – Robert F. Stoico/FIRSTFED Grand Reading Room Gift Announced – Robert F. Stoico, founder of The Robert F. Stoico / FIRSTFED Charitable Foundation announces $1 million gift to UMass Dartmouth. The university plans to invest $750,000 of its gift in the physical renovation of the Claire T. Carney Library and establish the Robert F. Stoico/FIRSTFED Grand Reading Room. The Grand Reading Room will be a stately, dynamic and spacious two-story room with an ambience that promotes intellectual richness, purpose and inspiration. It will have floor to ceiling windows that will provide spectacular views of the campus in all seasons, and be a place easily changed to accommodate small or large groups of people who are working together.

Please check the Library Building Renovation & Expansion Program page on the the Claire T. Carney Library web site for further updates and more information on the library’s renovation plans.