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Construction to begin on Learning Commons
Library Learning Commons Architect's rendering of the new Learning Commons at the Dick Smith Library.

Tarleton State University

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Dick Smith Library officials are busy transforming the first floor of the library into a technology-rich, interactive Learning Commons.

Construction is set to begin Aug. 26 on the $1.7 million commons, which will reflect new models of learning and creative thought, said University Librarian Donna Savage.

“If you think about the old library—quiet, study, meditative—it’s not like that anymore,” Savage said. “It’s talk out loud through your thought processes, collaborate with fellow students, collaborate with faculty. It’s an interactive place. And part of that interaction includes the new technologies and the tools students need to create and succeed.”

The commons will be marked by collaborative workspaces and access to technology, easy access to resources/services that support and enable research, writing, and technology skills development, and comfortable study options for students who want to learn in social groupings. Reference and periodical services and collections will remain nearby to help support student research and their academic work.

“The Learning Commons will be technology-rich, but it will be people rich, too,” Savage said. “The ITS help desk will have a presence here, as will the Blackboard help desk, so if students put together an online project or assignment they know exactly what to do, or if they’re collaborating in an online class they know how to communicate if there are individuals across the country. And tutoring services and the writing center will have a presence here.

“We will have this space where students can come and find the resources, the library resources or services, to be able to go from the gestation of an idea and work through to the final project,” she added.

Funding for this $1.7 million project includes $900,000 from the library access fee (paid by students), $100,000 from Permanent University Funds, $100,000 from the instructional equipment fund and $600,000 from Sodexo Food Service, Tarleton’s dining provider.

In addition to the donation, Sodexo will provide additional funding for equipment and fixtures to build an expanded coffee bar/café adjacent to the Learning Commons.

Tarleton is “very appreciative of Sodexo’s donation,” said Rusty Jergins, vice president of student life and dean of students. “We asked Sodexo to partner with us for student success, and they really came through.”

The Learning Commons project is scheduled to be completed in March 2014.

More information is available on the web at Information will be updated as the project progresses.


Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System

Contact: Joe Michael Feist

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Library Learning Commons

Architect's rendering of the new Learning Commons at the Dick Smith Library.