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10 Ways to Use the Learning Commons

The Learning Commons isn’t just a library; it’s a combination of space, information, and yes, food.


by Zach Johnson-Medland

  1. Study with friends (or not). Pick a room to study in, or if friends are too much of a distraction, build yourself a private starship chair fortress in a secluded corner complete with laptop stand, bean bag chair and any other movable furniture you can co-opt.

2. People-watch. Drinking coffee and watching people may sound creepy, but whatever…it’s fun!

3. Have an event, meet-up or get-together. Get some friends to host a coffeehouse, and check with the Student Activities so you can hang up signs.

4. Recover from a workout. After that hard jog around the creepy graveyard, grab a green smoothie to recover.

5. Pull an all-nighter. Usually the Learning Commons is open until around 2 am, and the service desk until 12 am, hours can be found here. You can stay up and study if you need too, but try to get some sleep!

6. Use the Seed Library! Tucked into the nook around the corner from the first-floor bathrooms, the Seed Library looks like some mysterious old cabinet from your grandparents, but really its filled with tons of donated seeds that are free and at your disposal! (Just take what you’ll plant). There’s something for everyone to grow, even in your windowsill.

7. Settle in with a book. It’s still a library at heart, despite the emphasis on digital technology, so grab that paper book from the New Books section, find a big blue chair, and flip through it.

8. Watch the automatic book retrieval system. While you’re waiting for your book you can run up and down the aisles watching the retrieval system do its work.

9. Browse the magazines. Or, while waiting, you could just go to the Magazines Section in the back of the Learning Commons first floor, and flip through all the magazines. It’s much easier, and less exhausting than chasing an automated robot.

10. Use a locker. Need to run out, but don’t want to lug your stuff with you? Ask a librarian how to use one of the lockers (its really easy) and charge your devices inside it–just remember to take your stuff out at the end of the day! And try to give commuters first dibs, they don’t have dorms to keep their stuff close by.

These ideas of what to do in the Learning Commons are just the tip of the iceberg–what are yours?


Zach is studying for a BFA in Graphic Design with a minor in English. He’s been writing and drawing since he could hold a crayon. Zach constantly seeks to combine his aesthetic creativity with linguistic logicality through art, poems, and stories.

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