New Graduate Commons Opens in Du Bois Library

Graduate Commons
Graduate Commons

A new dedicated study and group work space for graduate students formally opened in the W.E.B. Du Bois Library on Nov. 30.

The Graduate Commons features a mix of desks, tables and seating with moveable whiteboards and accent furniture to accommodate individual and group study. There are also two all-glass small group meeting rooms at the northwest and northeast corners, and remote printing service. The commons occupies half of Floor 5 of the library. There is swipe card access for graduate students to the commons during all hours the library is open.

Simon Neame, dean of libraries, presided at the ribbon-cutting for the facility, which was funded by $600,000 from the Libraries, Graduate School and the Provost’s Office. Plans call for expanding the Graduate Commons to the full floor as funding becomes available.

“In my mind, the Graduate Commons is an excellent example of space as service, one of the many services that the Libraries provide to this diverse and ever-changing campus,” says Neame. “It is a place dedicated to building community among students pursuing advanced degrees—a space for them to work, to relax and to connect with colleagues inside and outside of their disciplines.” 

The impetus for the Graduate Commons came from surveys and focus groups conducted as part of the Libraries’ ongoing assessment and data-driven improvement efforts. According to Neame, graduate students expressed a need for a dedicated study space that was close to source materials, librarians and other related services and offices such as Instructional Innovation on Floor 7, the Writing Program on Floors 12-13 and Special Collections and University Archives on Floor 25.

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