Bierce Library: Learning Commons a new landscape on learning

By: Howard Carter

Although the Learning Studio was dedicated in May, the Library has come up with a new Learning Commons, which is intended to create a more tech-savvy, friendly environment.

“Laptops and cameras, with accessories, have been a hit here on the campus.  This new wireless media has taken hold, and the landscape for learning is fantastic,” said Dean of University Libraries Cheryl Kern-Simirenko. “A Learning Studio is an incredibly flexible space that can effectively support instructor-led class activities and also promote more informal, student-initiated learning activities.  The University Libraries’ first Learning Studio, in Bierce 274, is wireless and lap-based.”

“The mobile furnishings may be configured in traditional rows of tables and chairs for formal presentations, or arranged into collaborative configurations for any size group; let’s give the students what they want,” Phyllis O’Connor said, the associate dean of University Bierce Libraries.

The Learning Studio will not replace the actual teacher or professor, but it will allow for more of a fun learning experience.  Learning the ins and outs of the equipment will require time and practice, but the tech-savvy environment will make it easier.

“Students are able to utilize the SMART Board for laptops from downstairs, or one is able to purchase software already loaded on laptops at Bierce.  Everything one can do on a computer is available on the SMART Board,” Joe Williams said of University Libraries. “These SMART Boards can be sent to multiple stations around the Studio.”