"The Learning Commons" Denominator

Brianna Soloski
Students Working in TMCC Library Image

The Learning Commons in the Elizabeth Sturm Library at Truckee Meadows Community College, Fall Semester 2017.

Walk into the Library on any given day during the semester and you will find many students studying, either solo or in small groups, as well as taking advantage of the many resources the Elizabeth Sturm Library has to offer.

With the assistance of a number of key people on campus, the Library is getting a facelift and acquiring some new resources vital to students’ academic life. In order to form a more collaborative environment, the Library is now or soon will be home to tutoring services, professional development, WebCollege, faculty offices and plenty of open space for students to work. Some of these updates have already been made, such as moving the College’s Tutoring and Learning Center into the space, and other updates are on the horizon.

Jill Channing, PhD, Dean of Liberal Arts, spearheaded many of these proposed changes. She sees the Learning Commons as a hub for faculty and student collaborative learning and utilizing technology. There are plans for a science study room that will be equipped with its own tutor and all of the necessary equipment students need to study science of any kind.

Adding these resources to the Library not only creates a stronger culture of collaboration among students and faculty, but it will enable more students to complete their studies on campus rather than having to seek outside help. Another important addition to the area is an enlarged computer lab space on the second floor: 25 two-person workstations that allow students access to the software they need, specific to the courses they are taking.

A highlight of the space is the Tutoring and Learning Center, which moved from the Vista Building. Currently, there is tutoring (one-on-one and group) available for math, writing and science, in addition to supplemental and computer instruction. The first floor will also be home to several study rooms with monitors, magnetic and writable walls and media for group work.

Finally, there will be lounge space added for quiet reading and study, making the Library a welcome hangout for students throughout the day. Much of the seating also includes electrical outlets for students to charge their phones, laptops and other electronic devices.

With the Library being the heart of many college campuses, it makes sense that the Elizabeth Sturm Library would undergo these vital changes that will make a difference in the lives of students, faculty, and staff, especially as the college continues to grow.

“We hope that the Learning Commons will be an inviting space for students, faculty, staff and visitors. Ultimately, we hope this will reflect the value our College community places on student access and success, excellence in teaching and learning, and a climate of innovative and creative thought,” Channing said.

Be sure to stop by and check out the refreshed Elizabeth Sturm Libary and take advantage of the many resources available to students, faculty, and staff. For more information, please contact the Tutoring and Learning Center at 775-674-7517.