Research Commons in Public Libraries: New Space for Development

Nowadays public libraries are rarely viewed as a space for researchers. Digitalization and the Open Science movement are the prime drivers which have changed the situation. Thus, in 2020 a new space for researchers will open in the Library for Foreign Literature, Moscow. Although it’s a public, not an academic library, we hope it will further enhance citizen science. Moreover, research spaces in public libraries can be used for advocating interests of libraries in a variety of ways.

Information literacy for everybody
Research Commons are places where librarians can show how useful they can be for the digital era natives. It is information literacy that is the most important skill for those working with electronic information. In terms of lifelong learning, everybody needs basic research skills to find, evaluate and quote information sources correctly.

Research for everybody
Research Commons in public libraries offer the local community a great opportunity to connect with the world trends in research. That could be a great contribution to popularization of science. Besides, among services available in Research Commons there will be
scientometrics, grant and conference searching, as well as academic reading and writing services. These services will show how essential librarians’ assistance can be, particularly their searching skills.

Academic reading for everybody
Also, it’s a great opportunity for libraries’ partners to promote their collections and to make their electronic resources globally visible. The general public will have access to unique resources, which universities and academies normally don’t have. Combining science, education, library and business in one place will have a positive effect upon scholarly communication. And that’s how the ecosystem of
open science is being created. We are very thankful to our partners Elsevier and Proquest, who have started creating the Research Commons together with us.

Mikhail Shepel
Director General
Rudomino All Russia State Library for Foreign Literature
Russian Federation