Active Learning Center, planned for 2017, to merge libraries into one - Purdue Exponent: Campus

Active Learning Center, planned for 2017, to merge libraries into one

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Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2014 10:00 am

Purdue plans to merge six of its current libraries into one facility, the Active Learning Center, by the fall of 2017.

James Mullins, dean of libraries, appeared before the Purdue Graduate Student Government to discuss plans for the Active Learning Center. The center will feature a library setting coupled with a more-involved classroom setting where professors can interact closely with students.

The new building, which is a $79 million project, will be constructed where the Engineering Administration Building is currently located. The Life Sciences Library in Lilly and M.G. Mellon Library of Chemistry will be among the six libraries moved. According to Blake Hylton, President of PGSG, all books, computers and staff will be relocated to the Active Learning Center.

Purdue undergraduate students reported the number one place they study is in the library, which includes solitary and collaborative studying environments. Room B848 in Hicks Undergraduate Library is a model for these types of study environments, and Mullins said this arrangement is a good learning environment.

In a video presented to PGSG, Ellen Gundlach, a continuing lecturer in the College of Science, expressed her appreciation of Room B848's organization, saying the setup allows her to move around the room freely and to work with a large number of students.

"The students and I have more flexibility," Gundlach said. "Students can help each other in a group and then those groups can help each other."

Mullins said although the Active Learning Center can be used by anyone, he hopes the facility will specifically support graduate students.

"We're looking at this as a place where you know other students will be working on projects and dissertations," Mullins said. "When you're working on your dissertation, it's lonely; it's a time where you'd like to be around other people."

The Active Learning Center could potentially have lounge-like spaces in addition to this classroom setting. The design stage of this project is still ongoing.

Students, faculty and staff will have a chance to voice their input on the project in an open forum held from 1-2:30 p.m. March 13 in the Stewart Center, Room 310.

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