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New Library Commons to open April 12

For immediate release
April 3, 2006

Talking out loud and drinking coffee aren't typical library activities, but come April 12 that will be the new way of thinking of Abilene Christian University's Brown Library when The Learning Commons open on the main level.

The Learning Commons will provide new educational and recreational accommodations for students featuring a Starbucks Coffee bar, group workspaces, comfortable chairs and computers inside the library.

The need for a traditional library is not the same as it once was, said Mark Tucker, dean of library information and resources. Because of advances in technology and students being able to access research online, library personal have been rethinking ways to utilize ACU’s library.

Tucker said ACU has utilized a consultant during this process, Robert Seal, dean of the library at Texas Christian University. The TCU library underwent a similar renovation a few years ago.

After extensive research, Tucker said a committee determined that group-oriented workspaces would be most beneficial to students because of changes in learning styles.

Allowing refreshments and conversation, once taboo in traditional library settings, opens the concept to a "learning commons" theme that organizers hope will attract students to the library and encourage both fellowship and education.