On the Edge: Balancing Space and Services in a Digital Scholarship Program


Duke University Libraries’ The Edge: The Ruppert Commons for Research + Technology + Collaboration was conceived as a space to support interdisciplinary, data-driven, and digitally reliant team-based research. This chapter considers what lessons pertain to the development of library spaces and programs in support of 21st-century research. As a space renovated in order to better serve research needs at Duke University and simultaneously articulate and promote the Libraries’ digital research services, The Edge offers a case study in flexibility – how to create space that can accommodate a range of uses and also evolve, strategically and responsively, to other campus programs and spaces and to researcher needs – and points to the continued importance of understanding and negotiating the role of innovative spaces and programs within established communities and cultures, practices and expectations.

In Designing Libraries for the 21st Century Edited by H. Thomas Hickerson, Joan Lippincott, and Leonora Crema
Joel Herndon, Ph.D.
Joel Herndon, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Data and Visualization Sciences

My research interests include data science, research data services, and data curation and management.