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Planning and Designing Learning Spaces in Academic Libraries: A Case Study at Information & Learning Centre (ILC) of the Faculty of Science, University of Colombo

Author:

Sajeewanie D. Somaratna

University of Colombo, LK
About Sajeewanie D.
Senior Assistant Librarian, Faculty of Science
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Abstract

Planning and designing learning spaces in any library is not a short-term task of today’s librarians because of the unpredictable and changing nature of user demands. This study focuses on planning and designing the learning spaces in the Information & Learning Centre (ILC), the new library of the Faculty of Science, University of Colombo. It was designed to support the multifaceted learning activities of the diverse user communities of the university. The main data collection method used for identifying expected learning activities was focus group discussions. Ten learning activities expected by users were identified and the most prominent ones were collaborative learning, student individual learning, learning by discovery (learning by searching and reading), focused learning (focusing on research studies) and library classroom learning (information literacy learning). After-hours studying, auditorium facilities, learning by video conferencing, and non-library classrooms are also recognized. Eleven learning spaces are designed according to the expected learning activities within five study zones; collaborative, interactive, quiet, reference and open study zone, e-resource centre, Library skill lab, Library studio, auditorium, and classroom. These spaces have ensured three main requirements of a modern library; technology, furniture and ambience. 24/7 Wi-Fi facilities, state-of-art computer labs and other latest technical applications are integrated with modern, flexible and comfortable furniture. Continuous observations and assessment of user behaviour are considerably important to plan and design modern library buildings. Prioritizing user needs according to the specific environment and culture of the institution will yield unique and useful library spaces.
How to Cite: Somaratna, S.D., 2022. Planning and Designing Learning Spaces in Academic Libraries: A Case Study at Information & Learning Centre (ILC) of the Faculty of Science, University of Colombo. Journal of the University Librarians Association of Sri Lanka, 25(2), pp.1–33. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jula.v25i2.8055
Published on 12 Jul 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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