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Penn State University Libraries

Attention: Work of this team is complete; the team is no longer active. (December, 2013)


Appointed by: Nancy Eaton

Chair: Sally Kalin

Membership: Mairéad Martin, Kimlyn Patishnock, Loanne Snavely, and Ann Snowman [Dace Freivalds and Gary White added by Sally Kalin]

Purpose: To provide leadership for the development and implementation of a knowledge commons at University Park. The knowledge commons will consist of a federation of services and repurposed physical space that will facilitate information discovery, collaborative learning, and knowledge building with a focus on undergraduates.


  • Draft a concise vision document
  • Foster collaboration among Libraries’ units expected to be involved in the KC; collaborate with other administrators in planning and implementing activities, including Special Collections, Development, and Facilities
  • Appoint committees and task forces to examine issues; provide them with resources and other support
  • Ensure effective communications about the KC to the Libraries’ faculty and staff and to internal and external partners
  • Generate partnerships with appropriate University units
  • Track trends and developments in learning commons nationwide; benchmark against other academic libraries
  • Oversee any assessment activities
  • Serve as contact with the architects and other professionals engaged in the project
  • Create an organizational structure that supports the services of the KC
  • Develop a budget and funding model
  • Identify appropriate spaces to support KC services and the staff that will administer them
  • Look holistically at public space use throughout the Libraries so that there is a cohesive plan for delivering services

Deadline/duration: The Steering Team will exist until the project is completed. Quarterly progress reports will keep the Libraries informed of our actions.


Additional Information:  Knowledge Commons Teams Wiki (staff only)

This Wiki contains information on the four teams charged by the Steering Team:

  1. Collaborative Spaces and Workstation Arrangement Team
  2. Concierge Team
  3. Library Services - Points & Provision - Team
  4. Tutoring and Academic Services Team