The week since last Friday has been tough and sad. Losing one of our own CSU students from Long Beach hit very hard; and personally too, it was tough since our son’s girlfriend and her brother live in Paris. We’re grateful they are both OK, but sad that so many families are not.  It’s also been a week of resilience and vitality, and I’m grateful for that as well.

At the library. Geography Awareness Week events were exceptionally well done this year – congratulations to Russ and Jeanine! And thanks to all who participated in the iDi showcase and the Keith Webster staff/faculty dialog session and keynote.  Our board members and visiting friends had a great time, and appreciated how all our iDi showcasers explained sophisticated initiatives in such engaging and clear ways.

Two themes seemed to emerge from the colloquium this week.

One was around innovation and entrepreneurship. Several CIE people joined our events and our advisory board members also visited their spaces, including the Innovation Sandbox.  The process of ‘ideation’ and building teams and processes that can bring an idea to life is at the heart of the CIE program.  It also resonates profoundly with the hothouserole of the new library as a place that stimulates and fosters the same processes, sometimes in the same way.  CIE’s HotHouse work space is open, flexible, reconfigurable, informal – not unlike what we do in the library. Students at the HotHouse do get longer-term ownership of their workspaces (but you can see the traditional idea of the assigned library carrel echoed there). 

A second big theme at the colloquium was communication.  Communication skills are crucial to our students’ success in any venture, whatever the context.  Communication skills include a whole portfolio of literacies and masteries:  from emotional intelligence and self-awareness, to listening and cultural investment; from discipline mastery to collaboration across disciplines; from technical mastery of the tools of digital communication, to creative and design literacies in using those tools effectively.  The library as a space (virtual and physical) for learning and practicing all these skills suggests a common theme across all kinds of existing and new collaborative opportunities with the campus.

The All Librarians Group meets this morning at 9:30 in 511.  It’s open to everyone, not just librarians!  Tim will be leading a discussion inspired by his reading of a recent article about library spaces and their use for collaboration.  I will follow Tim, and share some ideas emerging this fall around a potential redesign of our first floor 24-hour and peer learning spaces.  I’d love to hear your ideas about how students can help us design these spaces and programs – inspired by another article on how they did this at Cornell, and reminded of how important it is that the library is a place where student opinions matter.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, and a Happy Thanksgiving to all,