Learning in Common(s): New Post Learning Commons Opens

Facility boasts high-tech resources, expanded space for range of learning styles

Friday, March 9, 2012

With its soaring, floor-to-ceiling windows offering spectacular views of campus, expanded and varied study spaces, plush lounge furnishings, a first floor café (complete with plasma TVs broadcasting worldwide satellite news channels) and enhanced electronic resources, the John and Maryanne Post Learning Commons at Drexel Library is certain to become a hub for students seeking space for both studying and study breaks. SJU students returning from Spring Break will discover these and other features of the just-opened, three-story, 35,000-square-foot Learning Commons in the heart of the Philadelphia campus.

The Post Learning Commons offers students more than expanded study space, according to director Evelyn Minick. “The new building responds to a variety of learning styles, based on responses to our surveys of students,” she says. “Forty percent need absolute quiet when they study. Another 40 percent are ‘social studiers’ who are often multi-tasking, and a smaller percent work best in a noisier environment.

“People learn in different ways, and I think everyone will find a comfort zone here.”

The new Learning Commons more than doubles the seating capacity of Drexel Library – from 450 to 1100. A towering, three-story atrium connects the two. Designed by the architectural firm of BWA Architecture + Planning, the space was intended to provide “a technology-rich environment for use by students and faculty.”

Other amenities include 22 group study rooms, a digital media zone featuring audio and video editing rooms, and a presentation practice room with video capture and playback capabilities. An outdoor plaza with concrete seating extends the opportunity for collaborative interaction, or just “chilling out.” Students will also enjoy the convenience of on-site satellite offices for the Writing Center, Career Development Center and Learning Resource Center.


“We are bringing all of the learning services to students in one location,” Minick noted. “Even the service desk is a single, central hub staffed by technology aides, research librarians and circulation and reserve staff.”

A formal dedication of the Post Learning Commons is slated for Thursday, March 22, at 4 p.m. The campus community is invited to attend.

Click here [pdf] for a floor-by-floor description of spaces and amenities of the Learning Commons.


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