Library Learning Commons

The Library Learning Commons was established to facilitate research and media creation for class projects as well as to provide a comfortable location for study and active learning in an academic setting. Students can feel free to bring their laptops and engage in scholarly discussions in a technology friendly environment. The study area of the Learning Commons is open during library hours, while the technology is available via appointment.  The Coordinator of the Learning Commons is Dr. Rinalda Farrar and she can be contacted at 681.5260 or via email: farrarr@lincolnu.edu.


Inman E. Page Library Learning Commons at Lincoln University in Missouri

by Dr. Rinalda Farrar

The Inman E. Page Library Learning Commons at Lincoln University opened in July 2008.  The Commons is designed as a collaborative, interdisciplinary, learner centered, lap top accessible lounge and study space to meet the needs of Lincoln University students and faculty as they study and conduct research.  The Learning Commons features workspaces for students, faculty, library student workers, and librarians to work with each other and all of the University Libraries resources.  The area includes flexible seating and working spaces with additional networked jacks for laptop computers.

Under the leadership of the University Librarian, Mrs. Elizabeth Briscoe Wilson, the library faculty recognized students needed continued and increased access to all the electronic resources in support of their learning, but they also needed adequate spaces to use these electronic resources, to consult printed resources not available online, to collaborate with each other and faculty, and to produce products in a variety of formats to meet the demands and assignments for their classes.

Statistics:

The Library Commons has been in use since August 2008.  Faculty and students were given information about this area through flyers, faculty members, library staff and other students.  The coordinator visited numerous classes throughout this semester as well as academic meetings to discuss the purpose of the new Library Commons area.

Students began using this area predominately in the evenings.  Therefore, the coordinator is on a flexible schedule to meet the needs of the students.  The schedule consists of hours ranging from 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.  and 1:00 p.m. – 10:00 pm.  This time schedule has been very effective.  Students are generally in classes from 8:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. then the evening students begin classes at 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Faculty members also hold classes in this area consisting of over 20 students.

Students and faculty also schedule appointments to meet with the coordinator to discuss research projects or other topics.  

It is also noted that during midterm and due dates for projects, the commons is utilized more often.

Equipment:

The Library Commons has the following equipment:

- 5 cameras (students will be able to check out)

-  1 video handycam

-  20 laptops/tablets (students will be able to check out)

-  1 Macintosh notebook

- 1 Macintosh Computer

- 1 Desktop PC

- 1 Smart Board

- 1 Dry Erase Board

Responses

Students and faculty members have commented about this is a much needed area.  Some faculty members have stated that they wished that this was available when they were in school.  Students are excited about the help being available and having an area where they are able to collaborate or work individually.

Faculty and students working in the area have been observed using the various areas just as intended:  reading quietly in the comfortable furniture, working individually or in groups, using laptops, Desktop PC and Macintosh computers at the work station, consulting in small groups with library faculty, and studying together with books and materials spread out on the roomier tables.

Dr. Farrar creates media at the Learning Commons Multimedia Station

 

The seating is comfortable and inviting in the Learning Commons

Multimedia Creation is supported in the Learning Commons with both PC and Mac.

Students  utilize the Learning Commons to study, problem solve and create multimedia presentations.