The Johnson Center Library at George Mason University
Keywords:George Mason University. Johnson Center Library
gateway library concept
information commons concept
MetadataShow full item record
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Citation:Craig Gibson and Dorothy C. Lockaby, "The Johnson Center Library at George Mason Library," Reference Services Review 35, no. 2 (2007), doi:10.1108/00907320710749227
Purpose – This article sets out to discuss the Johnson Center Library, a gateway library in a multipurpose academic commons building first opened in 1996 at George Mason University, to identify the successes and limitations of this type of library concept, particularly in the context of more recent thinking about various types of information commons in libraries. Design/methodology/approach – Descriptive information is provided about the architecture and layout of the library, its collections and services. The final part of the article uses a lessons learned approach to identify key experiential and consensus-based observations of library staff, library administrators, and others about the changing mission of the library over a decade (1996-2006). Findings – The key findings of the authors focus on the need to revitalize the mission of the Johnson Center Library in order to move beyond the original gateway library concept. The findings also focus on the need to develop programmatic linkages with other stakeholders when a library facility is located in a multipurpose building; to create better architecturally defined spaces in order to enhance collection security; to design more flexible spaces that can be repurposed for changing needs in the networked environment. Originality/value – The paper discusses a different approach to library services, a variation on the information commons concept, and shows how library-as-place is still very significant because of the blending of the social and the academic lives of students, when a library is part of a blended social and academic student center such as the Johnson Center itself.