Construction on the new library commons will begin Aug. 26 in the hopes of maximizing an open space for collaborative and individualized learning for students.
"The new area will showcase an expanded coffee bar with booth style table settings, digital diners and collaboration tables," university librarian Donna Savage said. "Designers will work with the structure of the 1956 building by constructing custom tables around the present columns as well as providing an active floor for students to openly discuss ideas and projects with one another."
Technology will also be updated be providing an additional 24-30 computers for student and faculty use, an expansion of group rooms with collaboration centers and digital diners which will give users group access to projects and documents by connecting their computers to a television mounted in the center of the table.
"New color and black and white printers and copiers will be added to the space as well as a network scanner which will enable users to easily scan documents to be printed or saved to personal hard drives," Savage said.
Though a number of changes are being made to the overall atmosphere of the library, Savage stated that key areas will remain quiet for students to study and work on individual projects with minimal distractions.
"The back area of the upper level will continue to serve as a 'quiet zone' with group rooms for students to work in an uninterrupted environment if they so choose," Savage said. "The reference desk, tutoring and writing services and blackboard help desk will also remain available for student and faculty usage."
Funding for the construction of the library common has been provided by a library access fee paid by the students, Permanent University Funds, the instructional equipment fund, and Sodexo Food Service, Tarleton's dining provider.
"The overall construction cost will total at $1.7 million and is to be completed in late February," Savage stated. "The funds were supplied partially through Tarleton's growth money from increased enrollment over a seven year period."