To meet the growing needs of interdisciplinary, team-based, and data-driven research at Duke, the Duke University Libraries will transform the first floor of Bostock Library into a new academic service hub equipped with tools and workspaces for digital scholarship, reservable rooms for project teams, and expanded technology and training facilities.
The new space will be known as the “Research Commons” and will officially open in January 2015. The improvements will allow for more technology-focused library services, more spaces for collaborative work, and an attractive new destination for students and faculty in the heart of campus.
The main period of renovation activity will be May – November 2014, in order to minimize disruptions to students and faculty. The $3.5 million project was approved by the Board of Trustees at their October 2013 meeting.
The Research Commons will increase the Libraries’ ability to support interdisciplinary and team-based teaching and learning at Duke, such as the innovative projects emerging from the Bass Connections initiative. The space will bring together the Libraries’ Brandaleone Data and GIS Services Lab (relocated from the second floor of Perkins Library); workshop and presentation space for groups large (45-50) and small (6-8); reservable and drop-in project rooms; and expert library staff assistance, available on-site or by appointment.
“The goal of the Research Commons is to allow individual researchers and project teams to experiment with new ideas and approaches with experts, technology and training available in close proximity,” said Deborah Jakubs, Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and the Vice Provost for Library Affairs. “It will be the kind of space that invites discovery, experimentation, and collaboration.”
Plans for the Research Commons came about through a multi-year planning process in which faculty, students, and library staff explored how Duke researchers are increasingly conducting their work in the context of interdisciplinary collaborations and digital production. Generous funding for the project was made possible through the Duke Forward Campaign.
In order to make room for the renovation, collection materials and furniture on the first floor of Bostock Library will be relocated to other library locations beginning in May. The Libraries will free up additional study space elsewhere in Perkins and Bostock to accommodate students temporarily displaced by the work. A complete list of which collections are moving is available on the Research Commons FAQ page.
Also in May, the front entrance of Perkins Library will close due to the Rubenstein Library renovation on May 12 and remain closed until summer 2015. Library users and visitors will enter the library through the side entrance beneath the Perkins/Bostock connector, or through the von der Heyden Pavilion, which will remain open throughout the renovations. To better accommodate patrons, a Library Service Desk will be placed near the side entrance of Perkins while the front entrance is closed.
More information on the Research Commons, including a renovation timeline and FAQ, can be found on the Libraries’ website at library.duke.edu/research/commons. More information about the Rubenstein Library renovation can be found at library.duke.edu/renovation.