[Libs-Or] What are reference desks called these days?

James, Susan sjames at lcc.ctc.edu
Wed Aug 24 08:44:35 PDT 2011

A few years ago, the Lower Columbia College Library became a Learning Commons: we integrated traditional library services, tutoring services, self-paced learning, and elearning into the same space. We have a main "Desk" - really, a circle of desks where Reference Librarians, the tutoring supervisor, and self-paced instructors all work side by side. (We call it "The Fishbowl.")

We each have a designated space and a unique phone number....so there is still a traditional "Reference Desk." I think more students are becoming familiar with the concept of a Learning Commons and that, in addition to reference assistance, there are more services available to them than in previous years.

Hope this helps!


Susan James
Adjunct Faculty Librarian
Lower Columbia College
From: libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us [libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] on behalf of Hope Leman [hleman at samhealth.org]
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 6:05 PM
To: libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us
Subject: [Libs-Or] What are reference desks called these days?

Hi, all. I am just curious as to whether it is a librarian-led movement or pressure from non-librarians to rename what used to be reference desks. I just called the called the Oregon State University Valley Library to find out its summer hours after being confused by the wording on the Web site:


which said "Learning Commons Information Desk." As a patron, I got very befuddled and asked, "Is this what used to be the reference desk?" I wonder if other patrons are equally confused by these terms.

Hope Leman, MLIS
Research Information Technologist
Center for Health Research and Quality
Samaritan Health Services
815 NW 9th Street
Corvallis, OR 97330
(541) 768-5712

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