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Blended Library

Knowledge Exchange Lab and KMRC media development group


11/2011 - 10/2014


Ministry for Science, Research, and Arts Baden-Württemberg


Public libraries and university libraries underwent some major transformations in the last few years. While libraries used to be archives and mediators for individual knowledge acquisition, they have now turned into public places where people can collaborate by using a blend of analog and digital media. This development is addressed by the "Blended Library" project. While our project partners at the University of Konstanz investigate the integration and accessibility of task-related technologies, the KMRC and partners from the University of Tuebingen analyze aspects of collaboration among learners located in a library.

In a first project phase, modes of group work that foster group diversity and consensus building will be examined for teams that prepare for a course presentation, particularly with regard to information search and information evaluation. The overarching question involves the ways in which teams should collaborate in order to efficiently search, evaluate, and select research literature. Several modes of work (collaboration, division of labor, parallelism) are compared with individual information seeking processes.

The search tasks are executed in face-to-face settings at an interactive multi touch table. The second phase of the project will address the question of how technologies can support teams in order to minimize process losses. In particular, availability of information about the knowledge and activities of other collaborators (awareness) will play a crucial role.