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Learning Commons


In March 2012, Geisel Library unveiled the Learning Commons.  The three largest rooms on the Main Level were fully remodeled, and offer a wide range of workspaces for individual and collaborative study.

Through a combination of new furniture, cutting-edge technology, and spatial design, the Learning Commons is intended to facilitate group collaboration, promote interactive learning, and support the requirements of increasingly sophisticated class assignments.  The upgrades also enabled the library to better support the needs of laptop users.  As part of the project, the IT Help Desk was relocated to the Learning Commons, in order to support the new technology in the library along with the broader technology-related needs of the campus.

Below are overviews of the facilities, services, and technologies available in the three rooms that comprise the Learning Commons.

Technology Room

This room houses the Main Level's computer workstations, the IT Help Desk, and the majority of the new technology introduced with the Learning Commons.  The variety of spaces allow patrons to work individually, in pairs, or in groups of four.  Highlights include:

  • Computer workstations with two chairs for each
  • Two Media:Scape tables for four-person collaborative online work
  • Two multimedia computer workstations with scanners and Adobe Creative Suite
  • Individual study carrels with power outlets to accommodate laptop use
  • Two black-and-white printers and one color printer
  • Two "Print and Go" stations for users who only need a computer for a few minutes
  • Exhibit cases for recent faculty publications, new library materials, and thematic displays
  • A full-service IT Help Desk that offers laptop servicing, software support, and help with student computing needs in the library and across campus

Students in technology room

Reading Room

This room was designed to capture the comfortable feeling of a living room.   It provides a variety of spaces for solo reading, group discussions, and project work.  It was also intended as a "current events" room for keeping up with the latest stories via television news, newspapers, and recent issues of magazines.  Highlights include:

  • Four-person tables with power outlets for collaborative group work
  • Moveable clusters of soft chairs for discussion and group studying
  • Individual swivel chairs with adjacent floor lamps for reading
  • A Leisure Reading collection that is well-stocked with popular fiction and non-fiction
  • A Current Periodicals display with the latest issues of popular magazines and scholarly journals
  • Newspaper racks with today's issues of several local, regional and national newspapers
  • A television tuned to a cable news network

Students in reading room


The Atrium is a quieter space that offers a variety of study options.  It also houses the Reference Desk, where librarians are available to assist patrons with their research needs.  Highlights include:

  • Soft chairs with tablet arms for holding a laptop computer or study notes
  • End tables with power outlets for plugging in a laptop or other electronic devices
  • Four-person tables with power outlets for quiet group work
  • A Reference Desk that was custom-designed to accommodate walk-up questions as well as longer, sit-down research consultations

Students in atrium
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