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Libraries and Student Unions

Today, faculty and students can obtain information in any format and access it anywhere. So why does the library, as physical space, play such an important role in the renewal and advancement of today’s campus?

The Steelcase Workspace Futures research team recently completed an in-depth study of libraries on college campuses. They learned that libraries are an extension of the classroom and students collaborate with their peers and develop their skills to become an independent learner. Here are a couple of design principals to create libraries for higher level learning for the 21st century.

Insight One:

Design Libraries that Support Social Learning.
The library should support collaboration and group work, the dominant instruction and learning style today. Students need study space, technology, access to information and a flexible environment that supports working in pairs and teams.

Insight Two:

Optimize the Performance of Informal Spaces
In the library, people come together in ways they might not in the classroom, residence hall or off-campus. In the library, students become part of a larger community. Informal spaces that support interactions between students, faculty and staff effectively nurture learning and socializing.