Learning Spaces for the 21st Century: The Future of the University Libraries

Jackson Library is busier than ever and filled with students engaged in a variety of learning opportunities. Last year’s record of 1.2 million visitors is double the number from 10 years ago. Those visitors asked library staff over 75,000 questions, and nearly 22,000 attended our instruction sessions and research consultations. There were over 300,000 uses of library technology and technology-assisted learning spaces. Numerous studies show that these activities have a significant positive impact on student learning outcomes.  The Libraries are committed to increasing these important services to our community.

Jackson Library is not slated to be renovated for some time. Meanwhile, UNCG’s enrollment is increasing and our current space configuration does not accommodate the variety of learning environments we should be providing to our students. These environments, along with the expertise of our staff, enable students to create projects needed for their course work including traditional papers, media and 3D objects and support your mission in the classroom.

To accomplish this goal we need to remove some of the shelving in the Jackson Library tower. We will free up shelves by eliminating unneeded duplication of titles, increasing the number of items per shelf, and removing some of the non-essential titles that have not circulated in more than 25 years. Just like pruning your garden, weeding is a standard practice in libraries, and is considered necessary for maintaining a healthy and relevant collection. We estimate that we would reduce the number of titles in our collection by only two to three percent. If you need materials that are not in our collection we remain committed to obtaining them for you through purchase, Interlibrary Loan, shared online collections or other means.

This project will begin in 2016 with a pilot on the 6th floor of the Jackson Tower. The pilot will provide the opportunity to learn the best procedures for accomplishing our goals. Implementation of the entire project for the Tower will likely take 5-8 years.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this initiative, please contact Beth Bernhardt, Assistant Dean for Collections and Scholarly Communications at beth_bernhardt@uncg.edu.