Falvey Memorial Library: From library to learning enviornment

The new learning commons debuted in February.

In the 21st century, with people doing research online and reading books and magazines on tablets and smartphones, what is the role of the college library?

“Libraries today are very different entities than just, for lack of a better term, warehouses for books,” says Joe Lucia, university librarian and director of Falvey Memorial Library at Villanova University. “We like to call them learning environments. Now we’re trying to create an enhanced and richer learning environment.”

To do that, Villanova gutted the second floor of the library last August to build a new learning commons, which was officially dedicated on Feb. 17. Designed by BLT architects of Philadelphia, the commons features study and meeting spaces as well as offices. Clear interior walls allow views of the outdoors, even from the middle of the building.

A central lounge area has multipurpose rooms arranged around it. “These can be used for presentations and meetings, [as well as] for group and private study,” Lucia explains. “They’re equipped with state-of-the-art display technology for streaming videos; people can hook up their laptops for presentations. The configurable furniture can be rearranged for different types of activities.”

In addition to study areas, the commons will be home to the library’s research librarians, plus the university’s Learning Support Services office, writing lab and math lab. “We’re offering both services and facilities there,” Lucia explains, “all in the ways that contemporary students require.”

New tradition

Villanova’s learning commons is very modern — but also traditional in some ways.
   
“Libraries have never just been about the stuff on the shelves,” Lucia says. “They’re social and public places where people interact, sites for the discovery of knowledge. This has been so since the library in Alexandria,” in ancient Egypt, the first known library.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Hillary Clinton headed to Boston for women's leadership…

Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to visit Massachusetts Wednesday amid continuing speculation about making another bid for the presidency in 2016.

Local

Boston Marathon: Marathoners ready to run, honor victims

Scores of runners will cross the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton Monday and embark on a 26.2-mile journey to Boston in honor of the victims.

Local

MIT student, Rhodes scholar, dies

Eliana Hechter, a student at MIT and Harvard, died, her family said. The announcement was posted on MIT's website.

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox walk off with…

Red Sox pick up first walk off win of 2014

MLB

Red Sox and Orioles meet Monday morning at…

Red Sox and Orioles meet Monday morning at 11 a.m.

NHL

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings…

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings in Game 2

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.