Library's new Information Commons enjoys widespread use
By 7:30 on a recent Tuesday morning, a dozen students were already at work on the brand new computers in Cook Library’s recently opened Information Commons.
By lunchtime, all 138 workstations were occupied.
If you build it, they will come.
As part of renovations made on the third floor this summer, the Information Commons has doubled the number of computer stations previously available. Each workstation sports a new hard drive and 17-inch LCD flat-panel display. Eight group study areas, each equipped with a computer, 24-inch monitor and an extra mouse, adjoin the commons area.
This state-of-the-art study environment was designed for today’s college student, a group more accustomed to researching online than with print media. “More and more of our resources are going electronic,” notes university librarian Yvonne Lev. "We’re enrolling a generation of students that was brought up on Google.”
The Information Commons provides a dedicated work space at TU for students who find studying at the library less distracting than studying elsewhere. “Even though many of our journals and some books are now available online, a lot of our students like the convenience of having both print and online resources under one roof,” says Lev. She also notes that it is considerably more convenient for students to use TU’s computer hardware than it is carrying a laptop around the campus.
At a cost of approximately $400,000, this new research hub was one of the first projects that James Brennan, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, agreed to fund when he came to TU in 2004, according to Associate Provost Deborah Leather. “We looked at the library holistically and decided to integrate all of our technology services and library services for students into one location—the Information Commons.” Leather says.
“This change will have an enormous impact on the way our students study and conduct research on campus.”
Story by Stuart Zang/Photo by Sofia Silva