Embedded Image: Developing a Learning Commons

This past year our library building was renovated to include a learning commons space. The Offices of Disability Services, the Learning Center and the Writing Center also moved into the library building to provide a one-stop space for student academic support.

The renovated space in the learning commons area now encourages group and collaborative work. The quiet space downstairs in the main stacks still allows for quiet and focused solitary studying when it is needed. The learning commons space includes technology spaces for group work such as monitors that connect to laptops or tablets such as ipads, greater charging capabilities for technology, and group study rooms that can be reserved online or through a QR code.

LearningCommons

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6 Responses to Embedded Image: Developing a Learning Commons

  1. Beth,
    I love the design of your library! It looks inviting and a place where students are set up to be productive. Adding those other offices to the library makes a lot of sense as well. Have you seen an increase in student behavior or engagement since the renovations?

  2. bethtransue says:

    Thanks. We are enjoying this new space! We only opened this renovated space in the spring and there is little activity in the summer so it is hard to say at this point. However, students seem to really enjoy the additional technology and study spaces for collaborative work. It’s one of the only spaces on campus that facilitates collaborative academic work.

  3. Beth, I love the openness of this library and the collaboration areas look fantastic! I am sure that your students will really love using this improved space.

  4. darlagrant says:

    Hi Beth,
    I am really excited for you and your library. It looks inviting rather than cold like some libraries I have visited to study. I consider myself a frequent flyer of the library world as I seek them out all over the place. I tend to look for the quiet areas. Is your quiet area in a place that is separate from the collaboration areas? I was in a library on July 6th that had the quiet area on one side of a large noisy room. That didn’t work for me to study and concentrate. I think we need to offer both options to be able to work with the needs of students.

    • bethtransue says:

      Our designated quiet area is on the lower floor while the collaborative area is on the upper floor. Unfortunately the lower level acoustics make sound carry more than we would like, but that is from the ceiling design. Since we’ve created a noise friendly collaborative area, we get less complaints about noise int eh quiet area so it seems to work well. I agree it’s important for libraries to offer diverse types of space for the diverse activities that occur. It is certainly more challenging the the ‘old days’ when libraries were just quiet spaces! But I’m proud to say I am not a shusher!

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