A center for teaching and learning is – first and foremost – an attempt at building a tighter community through shared activities and practices, thereby placing it in a landscape that encompasses not just the classroom, but also the entire academic environment. As fundamental as this framing process may be, it is far from painless; rather, it might be quite cumbersome. From the administrative side, it requires dedicated resources that might not always be available, whereas from the academic side, it could be perceived as an imposition.
The aim of this presentation is to offer an example of how both issues can be tackled by designing a center for teaching and learning around a library and its activities: we will use the newly established Elisabetta Morani Center for Teaching and Learning at John Cabot University as a case study. We will highlight the preliminary groundwork that the Frohring Library has laid during the years, such as the full integration between information and digital literacy with broader pedagogical theories, or the establishment of its role as the reference point for technology in education. We will also show how this groundwork has shaped the goals of the Center and how, in turn, these goals are translating into practical initiatives. Finally, we will discuss the challenges and opportunities arising from trying to organically expand a series of projects into a separate, yet connected, hub.