Laughology - there's a term I hadn't heard until yesterday. It was the final session at INULS, and Stephanie Davies exercised our humour muscles to show us how being in a good humour and laughing can make us see things in a different light and be more positive. An excellent way to finish the day - she had everyone laughing, and made even a room full of librarians go wild and crazy ;-) With a toolset of techniques which can be used in many different situations, Laughology aims to reduce stress and improve performance. As someone who uses laughter a lot, (some might say too much...), I fully subscribed to what she was saying. Laughter can diffuse many situations and help people get over setbacks faster.
This morning began with another excellent speaker (well, I would say that wouldn't I....), as I gave a presentation on the Information Commons. Seemed to go well, and as usual everyone was very impressed with the building. As it's been open for 2 years now, we're able to give a feel for how it's operating, what we would have done differently and whether some of the design decisions we took at the time were right. Following my talk, a couple of designers who've worked on projects including the Saltaire Centre at Glasgow Caledonian University gave a design perspective on new learning spaces. Many of their ideas - the need for flexible spaces, solo spaces, silent spaces, collaborative spaces, curl up in a corner spaces - were incorporated into the design of the IC.
The conference is about to come to a close and it's been very enjoyable and informative. I'm also impressed with the University of Limerick which is on a lovely campus with green spaces, lakes, fountains, a wobbly bridge, and lots of public art - I even bumped into an Anthony Gormley in the grounds.