The FCC Library and Writing Center are developing an enriched service model for students and faculty: the “Learning Commons.” The phrase “learning commons” builds on the notion of “the commons,” which is a resource held “in common” by the community, from which everyone can benefit. In the Learning Commons, the resources are staff expertise, learning technologies, and learning spaces.
The Learning Commons will support students in enriching their “learning literacies.” Successful students must not only be literate in reading; they must also be information literate, writing literate, and technology literate. The Learning Commons is not just for students. Faculty members also have their own set of learning literacies, including many forms of technologically mediated instruction. Faculty will be part of the Learning Commons as learners themselves, and also as partners with librarians, writing coaches, and tech support staff.
The Learning Commons will be housed in the present Library space, which will undergo renovation to accommodate the other Learning Commons components. Design considerations include space arrangements to allow easy collaborations and referrals, multiple types of learning space—study rooms, studios, etc.—to support varied learning approaches, and technology for individual and collaborative learning.
An important Learning Commons principal is that students are learning leaders, not just learning recipients. Thus the Learning Commons will encourage students to shape their learning activities themselves, through flexible space and equipment arrangements.
The FCC Learning Commons planning process includes not only the Library and the Writing Center, but also faculty, and College departments that support technology and study skills literacies. The group is led by Colleen McKnight, Digital Resources and Faculty Support Librarian, and Betsey Zwing, Writing Center Manager. The project is now in its early conceptual design stage. A renovation schedule will follow once the design is clarified.