Library Directors from Around the State Praise GCC’s Library and Learning Commons

Friday, October 5, 2012

On October 5, for the first time, the Gateway Library and Learning Commons hosted the monthly Connecticut Council of Academic Library Directors (CCALD). The highlight of the meeting came after lunch when Library and Learning Commons Director Dr. Clara Ogbaa and members of the library staff provided a tour of the facility. Directors were universally impressed by the space and light of the library, Dr. Ogbaa said.

The library directors were particularly taken by the different types of furniture configurations that allow for differing learning and studying styles, she said. Some of the accolades were, “This is wonderful!”, “What a beautiful facility!” and “The new space is amazing!” One director even remarked, “You’ve set the pace for redesigning Connecticut's libraries." 

Directors attending represented both two and four year public and private institutions from across the state including Yale University (Law School Library), Quinnipiac University, Central and Western Connecticut State Universities, the University of Hartford, Housatonic Community College, Norwalk Community College and Three Rivers Community College, University of St Joseph, the Hartford Seminary Library, Holy Apostles College and Seminary Library, Albertus Magnus College and Mitchell College.

The morning began with a presentation from the Westchester Academic Library Directors Organization (WALDO) and database provider EBSCO regarding new offerings and opportunities for acquisitions of eBooks. This was followed by a webinar about current issues and trends in fair use and copyright conducted by Jonathan Band of American Research Libraries (ARL) and a subsequent discussion.

The new vibrant learning space is a reconceptualization of a traditional library space to a user-centered learning environment, where elements of collaboration, exploration, research, discovery and learning come together seamlessly. The first floor of the Library is dedicated to quiet, intense study while the second floor, the Learning Commons, is a lively but respectful collaborative academic work space, where students can take advantage of both technology and expertise in order to best identify, access, retrieve, manage and integrate information into learning and knowledge.

The LLC seats more than 400 individuals. Staff offices with beautiful glass doors and windows are distributed throughout the two floors for improved and point-of-need student interaction with library personnel. Its collection includes 50,000 print books, 100,000 electronic books, 60 research databases, 45,000 online journals, and 192 print journals, magazines and newspapers. Some exciting new features include a self-checkout system, a presentation and rehearsal room outfitted with new technologies and devices for class projects, a total of 7 group study rooms that include an assistive technology room, and a copy room equipped with a coin-operated copier and walk-up scanner. The entire library offers a variety of inviting and comfortable seating throughout the two floors.