Learning Commons to open at UMass Dartmouth

Opening on the first day of the new semester, the Learning Commons at the Claire T. Carney Library integrates library, technology, and academic support services for UMass Dartmouth students, faculty, and staff.

The Learning Commons, or LC, is a cross-campus collaborative effort. It will be administered by the Division of Library Services, Information Resources and Technology with a campus-wide advisory group. They will ensure that the LC continually develops to meet the ever-changing needs of teaching, learning, and scholarship in a technology-rich environment.

The first-floor LC is a comfortable place designed for undergraduates to study, write papers, prepare presentations for class, collaborate with groups, do library research, and get help with technology. The LC offers 39 computer work stations, a scanning station, and a print center.

The welcoming, helpful staff at the LC Service Desk can assist with a wide variety of questions, from library and reference resources to technology services, such as COIN, email, and support for software applications. Students can also meet with tutors from the Writing & Reading Center in the evenings for help with writing papers. As the LC develops, additional academic support services will be available at this convenient location.

Faculty and students who are engaged in more advanced research will want to visit the Scholarly Commons on the second floor. Reference librarians there provide expert assistance and instruction in the identification, evaluation, and use of information resources. The Center for Teaching Excellence—also part of the Scholarly Commons—promotes teaching practices that enhance student learning.
The LC Training and Computer Classrooms on the lower level of the library offer two computer classrooms that are also available for campus-wide training and professional development.

The LC is open during regular library hours, with additional 24×7 access during the last three weeks of classes and exam periods. The lower-level computer classrooms will also be available for student use during peak study times.

The “learning commons” or “information commons” concept has gained momentum on campuses over the past two decades. Many colleges and universities have established them to provide technology-rich, integrated support for learning.

“The opening of the Learning Commons at UMass Dartmouth represents a major step in our ongoing mission to provide integrated library, technology, and academic support services for our students, faculty, and staff,” said Robert Green, vice chancellor for Library Services, Information Resources and Technology.

“As the university plans for the expansion and renovation of the Claire T. Carney Library, the introduction of the Learning Commons allows us to gain expertise in the provision of innovative services to meet the 21st-century learning needs of our students.”

For more information about the Learning Commons, please visit: www.umassd.edu/lc/