Academic Library Design: National Conference to Feature Harper College’s Library Transformation
Harper College and Legat Architects to reveal the changing role of academic libraries at American Association of Community Colleges’ Annual Convention
The Internet era has changed the way that students absorb and use information. However, many dark and cluttered college libraries, built long before the advent of the Internet, have lagged behind.
The good news is that many campuses have begun to reinvent their dated libraries as campus academic centers focused on student success. One example is Harper College’s (Palatine, Illinois) renovated David K. Hill Family Library, designed to respond to technology innovations, keep students on campus, and build faculty teaching skills.
On Monday, April 30, leaders from Harper College and Legat Architects will share lessons learned from the library makeover at the American Association of Community College’s (AACC) 98th Annual Convention in Dallas, Texas. The convention, one of the nation’s largest, unites “over 2,000 community college presidents and senior administrators, as well as international educators, representatives of business/industry, and federal agencies.”
The Harper/Legat presentation, “Rethinking Mission: Harper College’s Library Transformation,” takes place on Monday, April 30 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Speakers include Brian Knetl (associate provost for interdisciplinary student success, Harper College), Sylvia Kowalk (principal and director of interior design, Legat), and Jeffrey Sronkoski (principal and director of higher education, Legat).
The trio will discuss how libraries can help colleges build student success by shifting the focus from content consumption to content creation. They will also explain the “third place” concept and how it fueled the planning and design of Harper’s renovated library.
Speakers will also share how colleges can enhance teaching and learning by uniting library, academic support, and faculty enrichment spaces. Harper College’s renewed library, for instance, integrates The Academy, which focuses on faculty enrichment.
“For many years, libraries focused on collection volume and how many students passed through the turnstile,” said Jeffrey Sronkoski. “Today, the focus has shifted to how well a library supports an institution’s mission. Yesterday, it was about books and consumption. Today, it’s about people and creation.”
The AACC 98th Annual Convention takes place April 28 – May 1, 2018.
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