Building the Weigle Information Commons
The David B. Weigle Information Commons opened its doors on April 5, 2006. This joint undertaking of the School of Arts and Sciences, the Office of the Provost and the Penn Library has been created to enhance the learning experience of students across several dimensions, and has been made possible by a $1 million gift from David B. Weigle, W '69.
The Weigle Information Commons supports study groups and collaborative learning and offers training, equipment and support for digital media. Several support services are provided for students as they work to improve their effectiveness in writing, speaking and original inquiry.
This flexible, technology-rich space occupies 6,600 square feet on the first floor of the Penn Library. It houses three complementary centers:
The College Technology Center
Because their work increasingly emphasizes group projects and shared learning experiences, students have voiced a need for networked and collaborative environments. The College Technology Center is designed to provide a technology-rich place to meet, talk, research, draft position papers, debate, interact with texts, work on presentation skills, and develop final presentations - all with support staff nearby.
The Vitale Digital Media Lab
The Vitale Digital Media Lab offers training and equipment for working with digital media - including video, audio, imaging, and web publishing. The Lab has extended operating hours, and is attended by staff who know the equipment and the craft. It is the first facility of its kind available to Penn's general population.
Academic Consulting Services
Several academic support programs provide walk-in assistance to students in the Information Commons, where their combined presence provides a single point of contact for students. In addition the services collaborate on new, integrated services and approaches to teaching and learning. The services already in place are Research Skills, Data Analysis, The Critical Writing Program, Communication within the Curriculum (CWiC), Learning Strategies, and Peer to Peer Learning
Collaboration in the Information Commons: An Example
A Cinema Studies instructor assigns a group paper on the use of film for delivering a political message.
President Amy Gutmann:David's vision splendidly supports our efforts to foster collaborative educational enterprises across the University. We are grateful for his support and leadership on this cutting-edge and multifaceted project.
SAS Dean Rebecca Bushnell:This unique partnership between SAS and the University Library promises to advance learning at Penn as students and staff collaborate. There will now be a central location on campus that provides the technologies and the services for students to experiment and to do their very best work.
Vice Provost and Director of Libraries Carton Rogers:What's innovative about the Information Commons is its holistic approach to learning and research. It will be there to assist students as they strive to explore and understand complex issues, to integrate knowledge from many perspectives and sources, and hopefully to share and communicate their knowledge through presentations and published research.
David B. Weigle, Library Overseer:The Information Commons will be a comprehensive setting where students can take advantage of University resources aimed at enhancing their academic skills. When Dean Bushnell called the Information Commons one of her top priorities, I knew I had to act. My support is really a partial repayment of the debt I owe to Penn. As an undergraduate, I could have used these resources.