Renovated Learning Commons to open on Woodruff Library Level 1

Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library will debut new service desk and lobby

Published 08-15-2017

by Maureen McGavin

These study lounges by Steelcase, similar to the ones students will see on the renovated Level 1 in Emory's Woodruff Library, provide a place to concentrate on a largely collaborative floor. Image: Steelcase.

The renovated Learning Commons will open for the start of fall semester on Level 1 of Emory’s Woodruff Library, with comfortable, movable seating, plenty of power outlets, and study pods.

Places for both individual study and collaborative work are woven throughout the inviting design. The library will add tables for group work, individual study pods, booth seating, and other options, expanding the space dedicated to student work to more than 20,000 square feet.

“The design of the space on level one, developed by architects Collins, Cooper, and Carusi, is meant to accommodate active, collaborative, and investigative activity to address a variety of learning styles and study. We’re very pleased with the look and feel of the new space,” says University Librarian Yolanda Cooper.

This floorplan shows bench seating (at left) across from the coffee shop, the S-shaped study pods, and a variety of individual and collaborative study spaces. Image: Collins, Cooper, and Carusi.

A variety of more comfortable seating is being added, and much of the furniture can be easily rearranged for collaborative work. Elevated booth-style seating, similar to the popular seating area on Level 2, will line the wall outside of the coffee shop. Both movable and fixed whiteboards will be scattered throughout the space.

The number of power outlets has nearly tripled with the renovation and will be conveniently located, so students and other patrons can easily use and keep their portable devices charged.

“Students have been consistent in asking for both collaborative and individual study space within the library,” says Kim Braxton, director of Academic Technology Services for Emory’s Libraries and Information Technology Services. “We think we’ve found a balance with the design and the furniture selection for the Level 1 renovation.”

Some of the microform cabinets and readers remain on Level 1, but most microforms were relocated to the Library Service Center to make room for the new space. Patrons can request those microforms, which will be delivered to the Woodruff Library service desk (contact the service desk for more information at 404-727-6873 or by email at libraryservicedesk@emory.edu.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea, the group study rooms, Student Technology Support (STS) and the meditation room remain on Level 1.  Group study rooms will now feature new collaborative technology supporting wireless, multi-user, multi-platform (Mac, Windows, iOS, Android) connectivity to the room displays.

Changes at the Health Sciences Library

This rendering shows the new service desk at Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library. Image: Collins, Cooper, and Carusi.

Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library also saw renovations this summer with a new service desk and lobby at the plaza entrance. Sandra Franklin, director of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library, says the revitalized entryway on the ground level has been redesigned to provide better functionality and a welcoming first impression that connects the user with information services staff. 

Improvements include a small lobby with chairs, an accessible turnstile entrance, a service desk with functional shelving for reserve readings, a consultation station, and better environmental conditions around the sliding doors for energy efficiency.

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