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The Hackelmeier Learning Commons

In June of 2006, the Mother Theresa Hackelmeier Memorial Library received a generous $69,000 grant from the Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund, a Central Indiana Community Foundation affiliate, for the creation of a learning commons.

The Hackelmeier Learning Commons is a set of unique spaces designed to facilitate active, collaborative research by students and faculty.

By creating a model for interdisciplinary thinking, learning, and resource sharing in a comfortable, collegiate atmosphere, Marian University will foster a stronger connection between the classroom and the library, nurturing a strong bond between academics and library resources while offering greater opportunities for active learning.

Exploring Technology and Space

The Hackelmeier Learning Commons has three major components: computing technology, furniture, and innovative use of existing space and resources.

This space will include nine collaborative research pods—each with a different thematic identity tied to major academic disciplines on campus, a teaching and learning lab, digital media center, student presentation rehearsal space, library Instruction lab, and a wireless network within the library.

Marian University students and faculty will have the capability of logging onto the campus network from their personal laptops. New computer equipment and furniture will be purchased and installed in each of the discipline specific pod areas. Group and quiet study space will be identified and strictly monitored.

The development of The Hackelmeier Learning Commons will support active learning by providing a space in which both students and faculty may gather with a strong digital focus. The Hackelmeier Learning Commons will consist of personal computers providing access to the Internet, the online library catalog, electronic databases, image editing tools, e-mail, office productivity software such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and web authoring tools.

It will be staffed by librarians, instructional technology staff, and faculty who are skilled in answering both reference and technology questions.

What is a Pod?

The collaborative research pods in The Hackelmeier Learning Commons will provide space for students and faculty to gather in groups with the added bonus of resource accessibility at their fingertips. Nine pods will be created; each with a specific identity tied to the major academic programs offered at Marian University, such as nursing, education, and natural sciences.

The pods will be located throughout the library building in areas adjacent to the book stacks, facilitating access to print resources. Each pod will be equipped with sufficient workspace and seating for at least 4 people, along with a complete computer workstation, and discipline-specific resources and guides.

To better leverage our resources and ensure a flexible group study environment the library will provide laptop computers in the circulating collection. A wireless network will be established within the library building to provide each pod with access to electronic resources within the building and beyond.

Not merely a computer cluster, these pods provide students with a space to gather, work and interact together in a dynamic atmosphere that is uniquely suited to their specific area of study. Additionally, the flexibility of a wireless environment will allow the librarians the option of moving library service points throughout the building, creating a more flexible environment for research, instruction and access to electronic resources.


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