New Learning Commons Will Improve Student Experience
By Sarah McAdams
When students arrive back on campus this fall, they’ll have a comfortable new place in which to kick back, study and socialize—all while sipping a Café Macchiato or two.
Major renovations to O’Leary Library this summer will make all that possible. The changes will center around a new first-floor Learning Commons, which will feature wireless access, a Starbucks Café and several new collaborative gathering areas, in which students can better study, learn and socialize.
The first floor will be completely overhauled, with new ceilings, lighting, carpeting and tiles, and newly painted walls. Other changes will include a new Library Reference & Research center, featuring an open computer lab with 75 full-productivity workstations, an instructional lab for information literacy and a variety of electronic, group study rooms.
Students will have access to academic support services from the library and a new Centers for Learning (CFL) space, where professional and support staff will be available for consultation and assistance. In addition to a CFL reception area, there will be tutoring and advising rooms, a Writing Center and the “Cove” for assistance with iSiS.
“These beautiful, brand-new, student-centered spaces will provide all the support and services along with the latest technology and software our students need while studying and learning in the digital age,” says Director of Libraries Pat Noreau.
Some smaller renovations will occur on the second floor to accommodate library administration and the Centers for Learning Teaching Labs.
The fourth floor of the library also will be totally renovated, with wireless access and more than 100 seats for quiet study, along with Access Services (circulation, interlibrary loan, reserves) and stack space for the Reference and Fine Arts book collections.
During renovations, from 5 p.m. on May 27 through Sept. 1., O’Leary will be closed to patrons. Faculty and staff will have access to the building from McGauvran Student Union and through the O’Leary mezzanine to the upper floors.
There will be no access to the first floor of O’Leary for the entire summer. The Media Office, Room 220 will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday during the summer months. However, the other media rooms will not be available for reservations.
Summer session students, as well as faculty and staff, will have access to all library services at Lydon Library on North Campus, which will be open during the summer from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“The closing of O’Leary Library this summer may cause some inconvenience to our patrons, however, its transformation of into the University’s leading-edge student-centered Learning Commons will delight our patrons with a more robust, beautiful, collaborative, interdisciplinary learning environment,” Noreau says.