WOU’s Dean of Library Services, Dr. Allen McKiel, emailed out the following announcement to campus on Monday about changes coming to Hamersly Library:
“There are exciting changes afoot at Hamersly Library. I am delighted to announce that over winter break, we will begin physical modifications to enhance the learning commons environment to better meet the needs of a twenty-first century campus. The addition of a first floor café will be the first tangible sign of these changes.
Among other prominent features of the learning commons will be increased group study spaces, additional computers, space for tutoring, more power outlets, and technology and assistance for video and audio production. A library foundation account with donor funds remaining from the initial building construction are being used to fund the project.
It is important to note that all of these expanded resources and services will be in addition to, and not in replace of, the library collections.
The ongoing design of the Hamersly learning commons thus far has been informed by a wide variety of sources including: library usage data, library literature (most notably an Education Advisory Board learning commons study), a WOU student survey (326 participants), visits to learning commons of other libraries, as well as ongoing discussion and consultation with WOU food services, the physical plant, architectural services, WOU administration, and faculty and staff currently involved with tutoring in the library.
At the time Hamersly Library was designed and built, some of the learning commons trends were already emerging particularly the emphasis on group projects. Hamersly library was built with more group study rooms than libraries built earlier. Nevertheless, there are not enough to accommodate the growing demand. The expanded study spaces of the learning commons will be comprised of a variety of furnishings including living room style, additional traditional study tables of various sizes, and wheeled, modular pieces to facilitate custom groupings.
Along with reconfiguration of study and service areas, another aspect of the project involves finishing unused space on the 3rd floor for archives collections and general storage space.
Please feel free to come see or email me or your librarian with questions or suggestions.”