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Learning Commons will be anything but common

Perkins Library will get a makeover for the fall of 2014, making it a one-stop shop for many students’ needs.

What is now the upper level of the library will become the Learning Commons, which will not only include multiple seating areas and a classroom, but the Help Desk, Writing Center and Rall Art Gallery.

A 24/7 study area is another new addition, and will be perfect for students who need to put in extra time to ace that 8 a.m. test. 

“(Student) life will be less stressful,” Perkins Library Director Julie Pinnell said. “The group study area will be bigger, there will be more services in one place and there will be free coffee.”

For students who want no distractions while working, a quiet area will be located on the lower level. 

English Professor Phil Weitl said he was excited for the Writing Center to move to the Learning Commons from its current location in Gaylord Hall.

“I think we were always aware that our current location wasn’t ideal,” said Weitl, the current director of the Writing Center. “We ended up picking that room (in Gaylord) because it was empty.”

The hope with having the Writing Center in a centralized location is that more students will utilize it, Weitl said. While the center has 280-300 visitors a year, being located in the Learning Commons will allow for more walk-ins.

“(Students) will be studying and will be like ‘Boy, I wish I knew how to start this paper’ or ‘How do you cite this?’” Weitl said. “It’s convenient to pop in for a session. It’s been a dream to have the Writing Center in a central place.”

Academic Affairs Vice President John Burney said the original idea to create the Learning Commons came from an ad hoc committee of faculty, staff and Trustees who were looking at the future of technology and learning. The goal of the renovation is to enhance the Doane academic experience. 

“Students will be able to work the way they want for more hours,” Pinnell said.