Key Considerations for Learning Commons Design Webcast Recording



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This online training will prepare you to design a learning commons that helps you achieve your programmatic goals. You will leave with:

  • Programmatic considerations for implementing learning commons on campus
  • The ability to connect programming goals to learning commons design choices
  • Many examples of finished learning commons spaces to aid your own design

Our expert presenters bring the experiences of multiple projects to the table. Their firsthand knowledge will help answer your learning commons questions and move your project forward.

Real-Life Examples

Throughout this webcast we will share numerous examples of learning commons to illustrate trends and highlight the connections between learning commons design and program goals.

Who Should Attend

This program is ideal for those who are in the visioning or planning phase of a library learning commons. An effective library planning team may consist of the dean or director of libraries, the primary advocate for the library project, and other stakeholders from library, information technology, academic affairs, and facilities management.

Learning Outcome

After participating in this online training, you will be able to better connect programmatic goals to your learning commons design choices.


  • In planning programmatically for your learning commons, have you:
    • Formed a collaborative partnership with IT services?
    • Identified key academic partners in programming your learning commons spaces?
    • Properly addressing shifting library personnel responsibilities and expectations?
  • Case studies: Where program meets learning commons design
    • Approaches to designing multiple learning environments in a single space
    • Lessons learned in creating patron traffic flow patterns
    • Keys to balancing public and private technology usage
    • Sample blueprints of actualized learning commons spaces
  • 3 lessons learned in sharing learning commons and library spaces


Alexander Cohen, MLS, Project Leader and Manager, Aaron Cohen Associates

As a Librarian, Project Leader and Manager at Aaron Cohen Associates (ACA), Alex Cohen heads a library-consulting firm with over 40 years of experience working with all types of libraries. His expertise includesspace-planning assessments, improving efficiency, and special collection/archives management; academic libraries worldwide have benefited from his work.

His goal is to ensure that user needs are better met, through service innovations and changes to functions, collections and physical space. Some highlights of Alex’s career include: the University of Maryland (Hornbake Library); Stanford University Master Library Plan; University of Texas, Austin; Hillsborough County Library System; and the National Library of Greece.  He is currently at work on the new Central Library in Dubai.

Amy Paulus, Head, Access Services, University of Iowa Libraries

Since 1998, Amy has worked at the University of Iowa Main Library and currently oversees access services, which consists of the circulation/reserve, interlibrary loan, and bookstacks departments as well as the media collection, off-site storage facility and most recently, the Google Books project. Along with other librarians and IT services professionals, Amy serves on the learning commons (LC) operations team, which provides oversight of the LC in the Main Library.  Amy was involved in the planning of the LC, working closely with the architects, facilities personnel, designers, librarians, and IT staff.  She was also fortunate to help create and hire a new professional to oversee the LC, a position shared by IT services and the libraries.

Amy has published and presented on access services related topics. She is also active in the American Library Association, the Iowa Library Association, and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), leading and serving on committees within these organizations. She also leads several teams at the University of Iowa, including the presidential charter committee on safety and security, the UI Libraries user access team, and the Google Books project team.


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