All in one place
Writer: Amanda Barr
There have been rumors and after the big move that happened over Thanksgiving break, it is finally happening.
By fall of 2012, Leeward Community College students will have a Learning Commons, complete with an Internet cafe, comfortable seating, and all their academic services in one place. The Learning Commons will occupy the first and second floor of the current library building. Housed inside will be the library, Learning Resource Center, Testing Center, Writing Center and KI office, which provides services to students with documented disabilities.
The library, KI and LRC, Writing Center moved to temporary locations over the break to make way for work on the Learning Commons.
This project didn’t start overnight, of course. It started in 2006 with a trip to the mainland that was taken to see what was new and innovative on college campuses on the west coast. It turns out the Learning Commons was a new way to utilize space better and to offer a broad range of services in one place. Leeward Community College received close to a million dollars for renovations.
“It’s like a food court, except it’s us,” explains head librarian Chris Matz.
What changes should students expect to see after the unveiling of the new commons? On the first floor, the technology center will include a computer lab and Testing Center, with plenty of room for overflow. On the second floor, there will be an Internet cafe, plenty of comfortable seating, the Writing Center, LRC, as well as the library’s circulation desk. The KI office will also be enlarged, with an entrance that will be located on the front of the building. The third floor will house the library.
For the current semester, the library’s services will be located on the third floor. While the transition may be a little rough at first, the results will be well worth it.
“What they want is for students to stick around for a while and they will be here for a while because all the things they need are nearby,” states Matz.
The Learning Commons will still offer all of the same services and feature some improvements. Leeward will be the first library in the University of Hawaii system to offer Kindles and iPads to check out. There is plenty to look forward to in fall 2012. Matz assures students that “the Learning Commons doesn’t mean anything is going away. What it does mean is that a lot of things will be coming together.”
If students would like more information about the renovations, there is a link that can keep students and faculty updated: http://lcc.hawaii.libguides.com/learningcommons2012 .
—Illustration by Joel Gaspar