VCU Library 2nd Floor Now ‘Learning Commons’

September 23, 2010

By Jasmine Allen
VCU Insight

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Commonwealth University had renovated the second floor of the James Branch Cabell Library on the Monroe Park Campus to create a student study area called the “Learning Commons.”
    
The 14, 000 sq. ft. facility includes 438 additional seats for students. New computer work stations, study rooms, movable whiteboards, and a multi-purpose room come after two years of work to enhance student engagement and interaction, according to library officials.


   
VCU Technology Services and Provost Beverly Warren collaborated with the library to make the second floor a more state-of-the-art study center.
   
“Many
years ago we did the first floor,” John Ulmschneider, University
Librarian, said.

“A few years later we did renovation to the fourth floor.
We’ve always known that we needed to create more student seating and
student space and the second floor is the ideal place…. So we’ve had
this idea for years.”
   
Ulmschneider said the university wanted to encourage more student interaction.
   
“Beyond
enjoying the space and beyond it being a space where people can get
together, it makes a difference to student academic work. The student
experience at VCU is important to us. The assets that students have to
do their work are important to us; that’s why we created this,” Ulmschneider said.

VCU invested roughly $1 million into
the Learning Commons’ furnishings and latest technology. Officials said future developments could include improving the third floor and perhaps adding an adjoining building to the back of the library.