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News and events from DePaul University Libraries

What’s new in the JTR information commons?

by Heather Jagman 10/17/2013 12:15:00 PM

The first floor of the John T. Richardson Library has a new look! Over the summer, we opened up the floor plan, increased the number of workstations, and provided a variety of new seating arrangements for reading, studying, and collaborating.  In addition to comfortable new chairs and movable whiteboards, the renovation included 12 new media:scape tables.  These D shaped tables provide access to a computer and large screen monitors,  but also allow users to connect their own devices and share content quickly and easily. They can even be booked in advance for collaborative projects or meetings.    

Research help is centrally located, so librarians and peer research advisors can easily assist students and faculty as they work.  A number of our learning partners also have a new, visible presence in the Information Commons.   

The Learning Commons, opposite the elevators, currently offers tutoring and consulting from five co-curricular partners:


•    Academic Success Center  (College of Education)
•    The Career Center
•    Office of Multicultural Student Success
•    Science and Math Learning Center  
•    University Center for Writing-based Learning

The creation of a Learning Commons was the inspired by a recommendation of the Probation Task Force (a group of advisors charged with identifying ways to help students avoid academic probation). The planned renovation of the Library offered an ideal location to put the recommendation into action, providing convenient and comprehensive learning support, and promoting academic success for all students.  

The services offered in the Learning Commons supplement the services offered by our partners in their permanent locations. All services provided at the Learning Commons are on a walk-in basis—no appointments necessary. 

The Learning Commons has seating for 40 with modular tables and six computer workstations, a projector, and moveable whiteboards. When not in use for tutoring purposes, the space is available for study during regular library hours. Students will need to bring their IDs to swipe in.

Supplemental Instruction, operated by our partners at the Office for Teaching, Learning and Assessment, is located toward northeast corner of Information Commons.  Supplemental Instruction hosts peer-led instruction sessions designed to help students understand material in historically difficult classes.  

Located in the northwest corner, the Scholar’s Lab is home to six of our media: scape tables, large format scanners, and a plotter printer (currently free for teaching and learning purposes).  As a new service to the DePaul community, the Library is actively seeking campus partners to design, develop, and participate in lab technology decision-making, events, and programming for the Scholars Lab.  (Please contact Megan Bernal for more information on how to take advantage of this new space.)

Our Access Services desk, home to circulation, reserves and interlibrary loan is now on the east end of the floor.  Information Service’s Genius Squad is conveniently located nearby.  
We’ve also created a cozy reading area in Haber Lounge, near the water fountain, student copiers and restrooms.  Members of the DePaul community should find it convenient to browse through faculty publications, popular reading materials and graphic novels.

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