Boulder, CO. Interesting things were happening at the University of Colorado at Boulder ("CU Boulder"). ITS and the university libraries partnered for an ambitious project: The Norlin Commons, which opened ahead of schedule in July. The good folks at CU Boulder rolled out the welcome mat to show our EDUCAUSE contingent around.
We met an energetic team of librarians, technologists and planners eager to discuss the fruits of their collective. For nearly half a decade they worked to a) identify key aspects of the current state of student resources within their domain (the Norlin Library); b) articulate the outcomes they wanted students to experience in some future incarnation of the library; c) partner with professional planners and designers to assist with due diligence and to translate their goals into an actionable plan; d) use that plan to seek funding support among their chief constituents (the students themselves).
The result is the Norlin Commons, a splendid mash-up of "mixed-use" and "flexible" zones, where services and beverages intersect at a place where students naturally congregate to get work done, unwind and refuel.