MLK library opens first learning commons to SJSU students only

by Feb 3, 2013 5:27 pm Tags: , ,

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library unveiled the first research commons facility for SJSU faculty and students in the Mezzanine room Jan 31.

The facility offers a space exclusively to SJSU students for studying, and offers iPad and laptop rental, unlimited computer usage and a print station, said Julie Kowalewski Ward, university library access services manager.

The purpose of the Student Learning and Research Commons is to facilitate student success, said President Mohammad Qayoumi.

“We were trying to decide what to do with the space, and one of the needs we heard from the SJSU students was to have a place that’s just for SJSU students,” Ward said.

The learning commons is “a work in progress” but it's also a great environment for students to study, Ward said.

According to Provost Ellen Junn, “The concept of the learning commons is a relatively new one, probably in the last decade or decade and a half, and it really is a notion that universities are trying to change the way they set up libraries for students.”

Junn said the learning commons is currently “just the bare bones,” but she said she intends to further develop the space to allow more technology resources “as budgets get better” in the interest of student success.

Along with offering an exclusive space for students to study, another major factor behind implementing a study commons derived from student complaints regarding noisy distractions on various floors in the King Library, said library reference associate James Tan.

“We’ve had comments in the past from students saying that they want a space in the library that is somewhere they can concentrate more on their studies instead of the floor (which) can be distracting at times,” Tan said.

According to senior accounting major Noe Beltran, the commons is a comfortable space to work on small group projects and the exclusiveness garners a greater connection to the university, which “adds to the college experience.”

Other students said the commons provides incentive for working in the library.

A.J. Tañedo, a senior accounting systems major  said he is drawn to the additional resources for studying and having more privacy.

“I didn’t think it was necessary, but it’s nice to know that it’s there just for students,” Tañedo said. “I like how it’s laid out, it’s very clean. It’s all brand new. They have laptops and iPads for us (to use), so it looks like a good place to study.”

The Student Learning and Research Commons is located on the first floor above the Children’s Room and is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Students must have their tower card to gain entrance to the study commons.


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