Academic Commons at Penrose Library: Spaces and Services


The Collection Review Reading Room, with more than 20 study carrels adjacent to the stacks, will be a convenient place to browse and select materials to check out.

The Perched Classroom, hanging between the skylight and the main floor, will be home to a compelling program that partners library faculty with faculty from all DU disciplines to teach every student how to be an expert information manager.

The Family Study Room will be a large space equipped with children's furniture, toys, books, puzzles and a TV with earphones, where kids will pass time as their parent studies.

Five Open Reading Areas will give students a choice of study tables, booths, or soft seating.

Eight Large Group Study Rooms, including one immediately inside the main entrance with a view overlooking Carnegie Green, will serve as study and meeting rooms.

Sixteen Small Group Study Rooms are designed to support collaborative work. Soundproofing limits conversation to the group inside, yet a floor-to-ceiling window enables others to see the occupants. Technology allows students to share laptop screens on the wall-hung flat panel.

The Front Porch Café and Patio, funded by Doug and Mary Scrivner, will offer food and beverages throughout the day and evening, with seating for 75 people.

The technology-rich, flexible Special Event Space, with 150 seats, will allow Penrose to feature an amazing array of academic events. Capable of hosting meals and receptions, art and rare book exhibitions, interactive programs and lectures, this large room will be acoustically controlled, walled with glass, and equipped with video presentation and capture technology. When events are not taking place, it will be used as a centrally located study area.

The Frederic C. and Jane M. Hamilton Atrium will provide a central and light-filled space in the Academic Commons.

The Formal Reading Room will be a vast reading area with comfortable furniture, a fireplace, and beautiful views through two-story-high windows.

The Special Collections Reading Room will be a place of discovery to explore Penrose treasures, including the civil war collections, documents, photographs, and textiles relating to the Jewish experience in the Rocky Mountain West, the history of dance, and one of the largest collections of cookery in the country. Built with care for collections conservation, the reading room will include exhibit and display cases to celebrate the primary resources of the library. It bears the name of DU alum Marshall Fogel.

1,864 chairs and power outlets will make this facility capable of meeting the needs of the DU community.

More than 4,000 pieces of furniture from the original Penrose Library will be refurbished and returned for use in Academic Commons.

The Academic Commons will provide access to 141 computers, including 40 for research instruction, 60 PCs for general use, 20 Macs for general use, 12 Macs in the Digital Media Center, plus additional PCs on each floor as look-up stations.



The Writing Center, a consultation service, is staffed by trained communicators who teach writing as well as the theories of composition and language use, enabling every student to excel in written expression. 

The Math Center recently completed its first year of operation, 2010- 2011. The Math Center staff helps students with their assignments on a drop-in basis.

The Research Center provides one-on-one consultation with a librarian, as well as collaborative learning opportunities. Last year, 5,080 students participated in Research Center classes and workshops.

The Office of Teaching and Learning contains eleven offices where staff offers creative programs, award-winning technology, and course management software and systems to help DU faculty be better teachers.

The Core Collection in the Academic Commons will include half of the library's books, shelved on 39,500 linear feet. The rest of the books will be housed at the Hampden Center and can be retrieved within two hours of a request.

The Academic Commons at Penrose Library provides access to more than 600 databases and 98,000 online journals. Within the Penrose collection, more than a million records are of digital content. The University saved more than $660,000 last year by purchasing electronic rather than print books.





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