Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Learning Commons staff completes transition and looks forward to the Fall

Linley Nyirenda

The Brookhaven Campus Learning Commons has reached the culmination of its overhaul, which began in the Fall semester of 2022. A full testing center can be found on the second level of the Commons. A large help desk is stationed outside the testing center room, loaded with pencils, calculators and other tools. Math and English tutors are stationed at their desks on level 1.5, ready to assist students. The Learning Commons has become much more than a library. It is now a student hub, full of resources and tools.

Natalia Vargas, Brookhaven and North Lake Campus Learning Commons regional manager, said: “It has been a beneficial change. Having the services in close proximity fosters collaboration.”

Vargas has been a leading force in the Learning Commons transition. Vargas said: “From the students’ perspective, the Learning Commons is now a one-stop destination. You can, for example, study in the library right before you take your test. Or you could work with one of our librarians on research for your paper, then make a tutoring appointment with one of our tutors to discuss the first draft. Our current setup allows students to access diverse resources and academic support all in one place.”

Despite a much smaller in-person student population, the Learning Commons is far from an idle place in the summer. Students can still be found engaging with all of the Commons’ resources, from checking out books to printing out assignments. The Commons staff are similarly active. 

One of the first things a student will see upon entering the Learning Commons is a display table celebrating a monthly event, such as the Pride Month display and trivia game, which was maintained through the month of June. 

Olga Henson-Murr is a Brookhaven Learning Commons librarian and often the person in charge of setting up displays in the area. She said: “Each campus library of the Learning Commons can decide on their own themes or topics for the rest of the summer. Some possible ideas may include travel books, beach books, ‘summer scorchers,’ [and] ‘cool down with a good book.’ Here at Brookhaven, we are going to have a ‘Summer Sizzle with a Great Book’ display.”

The Commons will host many events during the Fall semester, many of them returning from the Spring. The Learning Commons Open House will take place Sept. 6-7. “The goal of this event is to invite everyone on campus to visit the commons and to learn more about our services,” Vargas said.

The Week of Workshops, or WoW Week, will be held through the first week of October. Students will be able to engage with professionals and learn about all kinds of subjects. “Stay tuned for this one,” Vargas said. “We will have a variety of sessions [on] a variety of topics, including academic subjects and study habits.”

The final event of the Fall is the Learning Commons Study Jam, which will take place Nov. 28-29. “We aim to encourage our students to visit the Commons and take advantage of all resources available to prepare for finals,” Vargas said. “Our tutors will be ready to help. There will be some stress relieving activities and plenty of snacks.”

In addition to student-oriented events, the Commons will also be host to the Faculty Tutoring Collaborative. Vargas said, “This is a partnership between faculty and support tutoring services.” Full time Faculty who participate in the FTC will be provided a dedicated area, called a “Faculty Corner,” within the tutoring center.

Vargas said: “The Learning Commons continues to grow as we adapt to the needs of our students and patrons.” While the colocation services to the L building have concluded, we will implement any changes that will result in a better service.”

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