Prickly Pear, Yearbook of Abilene Christian University, 2006 Page: 64
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w r y / lD / ad~~~
Students talking in louder than a whisper, sipping coffee and
nibbling on a snack. Once taboo in a school library, these actions
have become the norm since March 20.
Ihe remodeled main level of the library, now called the Learning
Commons, opened the Monday after spring break.
Mark Tucker, dean of Library Information and Resources, was a
part of the planning for the Learning Commons and is responsible
for explaining the plans to those outside the library.
The newly designed area of the library will be different in that it
will attract students, Tucker said.
Because of the advances in technology and being able to access
research online, the traditional need for a library is no longer relevant,
Tucker said. Therefore, the committee to redesign the library
had to rethink its public spaces.
The new definition of this public space is Learning Commons,
Tucker said. A great deal of research went into planning the learning
facility. The dean of the Library at Texas Christian University,
Robert Seal, was ACU's consultant for creating the space.
A few years ago, Seal was at his campus library on a Friday night
and it was empty. Later, he went to the Barnes and Noble down
the street, which was packed with students studying. He concluded
that both the library and Barnes and Noble had books, so the only
difference was food. Seal first added a coffee shop to TCU's library,
and in the first year students attendance at the library went up 40
percent. The next year it went up 60 percent. Seal later added community-learning
tables, and the library became increasingly successful,
This realization of the need for the new millennial library is
sweeping the nation's college campuses, and the university is on the
brink of this new development, Tucker said.
The new Learning Commons at ACU is equipped with custommade
tables huddled around computers, specifically made for encouraging
group work, comfortable, black leather chairs for study
groups and a Starbucks coffee shop.
Team 55 is also stationed inside the library to assist students
in any technical assistance they might need, as well as the Writing
Center and a printing shop.
Tucker explained that students spend most of their learning
time outside of the classroom. This facility will cater to all of students'
educational needs in one place, and perhaps most importantly,
will facilitate group study, which Tucker said he feels will be very
beneficial to students.
"We want people to be connected for life," Tucker said. He said
he believes the Learning Commons will help students do that.
"Students will be [at the Learning Commons] to work together
and play together and reinforce why they came to ACU,"
By: Rachel Wilson, adapted from the Optimist
Chris Coggin, junior communication major from Pflugerville, and Ryan Bowman,
senior communication major from Orlando, Fla., order at the Starbucks
in the Library.
C~~~mmon9 / 4
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Abilene Christian University. Prickly Pear, Yearbook of Abilene Christian University, 2006, yearbook, 2006; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39882/m1/67/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Abilene Christian University Library.