Interview Transcript and Link to Complete Podcast.
Gerry Baynes speaks with Gary Strong, University Librarian at UCLA. Here’s the opening exchange.
Gerry Baynes: One of the elements planned for the space being redesigned at the UCLA Charles E. Young Research Library is a research commons for digital scholarship. Can you describe this new space? What sorts of tools and features will this research commons contain?
Gary E. Strong: We wanted to conceptualize a space that would engage faculty and students and become a destination for scholarly activity, inquiry, and discovery on the campus. We’re renovating the first floor. The collections will remain in the building. We’ve moved eighty-five staff out of the building in order to make space for students and faculty. Over time we had sort of chewed away at the public space in order to accommodate staff spaces and behind‑the‑scenes operations. An important concept here is that we are separating those things that belong to the librarians and are returning to the faculty and students what belongs to them. So half of the first floor will be a traditional reading room, but with a reduced print research collection and robust electronic reference tools. The other half will be collaborative spaces. This research commons will be looking at how we engage digital scholarship in the humanities, social sciences, and the arts in the journey toward discovery of new knowledge, and how we support the kinds of collaborations that students and faculty want to have. Many of the courses today, particularly the interdisciplinary courses, support student-faculty and student group interaction.
He also talks about what skillset makes a good fit when recruiting a new digital librarian.