E-JASL: The Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship


Date of this Version

Summer 2008

Document Type



Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship (Summer 2008) 9(2). Also available at http://southernlibrarianship.icaap.org/content/v09n02/franks_j01.html.


Copyright 2008, the author. Used by permission.



For the past decade the University Libraries at The University of Akron has been modifying and enhancing its services in response to changing technologies and user needs, as well as evolving campus strategies. Library efforts centered on service excellence and student success have played a leading role in the inclusion of a planned learning commons as one of the key strategic initiatives of the University. At this time the learning commons concept has been fully developed, while the proposed building renovation plan is underway. The Library, however, is utilizing key opportunities in the present to integrate learning commons functionality into its existing reference service. This article is intended as a resource to other reference departments also in the midst of planned learning commons or that are aspiring to incorporate some aspects of commons service models into their existing services.