ASU Library Earns Design Acclaim
March 22, 2012
Service flexibility, one of 12 categories evaluated by the magazine each year in library design, recognizes adaptability to service population shifts, technology advances and new service needs. The ASU facility was one of 13 libraries in the U.S. and Canada identified as having built-in flexibility to adapt to what their patrons require.
The magazine wrote, The renovation of the Porter Henderson Library created a number of niches throughout the building, each housing one to six students, as well as areas with movable furniture that allow users to create meeting spaces and reconfigure library zones. Classroom space provides computer connectivity for 32 students, but can also be modified for speakers, lectures, or small study groups.
The renovation opened a 28,000-square-foot Learning Commons on the first floor of the library in January of 2011. Project architect was SHW Group, LLC, of Austin.
Library Executive Director Maurice Fortin said the changes are the librarys way of adapting not only to the technology of modern information but also to contemporary students.
Traditional academic library furniture, layouts, services and resources do not match the changing nature of 21st century students and how they process/seek information, use technology, and interact on a broader social level with peers, Fortin said. Information storage is rapidly moving away from the old paradigm of paper to a digital medium.
The purpose of the Learning Commons is to refocus the library as the heart of learning on campus by providing a collaborative learning environment that facilitates student interaction with other students, faculty, staff, technology and information, regardless of its format, Fortin said.