Understanding the Academic Library as an Information Literacy Workplace Danuta Nitecki: Pam blogs from #ECIL2017
Danuta is dean of libraries and professor at the college of computing and informatics at Drexel University, USA. She proposed 3 ideas: the library as the learners' workplace; the relationship between space and learning is an emerging area of study; libraries are prime examples of this phenomenon.
A purposeful space should take account of the desired change in the user, the type of activities they do and the space features.g. Technology, furnishings that are required. Library spaces are not driven by pedagogy in the way that formal teaching spaces are. Instead they take account of how the learner behaves. Many disciplines are interested in space and learning, but there is no overall theoretical model.
Danuta's research into informal learning spaces involved students identifying learning environments, they inspected many campus spaces and provided descriptions of how they could use a space. They identified a common set of features that could characterise learning space e.g. Space, natural light.
Danuta then reported selected findings from Nitecki and Simpson (2016) investigating the library as learning environment. The study used descriptions of 25 library spaces as data and extracted quotes about design features or student learning. They identified that vocabulary used to describe formal spaces are mirrored in informal learning spaces. Collaboration was a key feature of library space.
A 3rd study peer engagement
Used mobile phones to record learning activities in informal learning spaces. The data did not show how people moved through the space, but showed both collaboration, and people working individually.
There is a need for a research agenda for understanding the relationship between informal learning environments and learning.