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New Learning Commons in Villanova’s Falvey Memorial Library Enhances Student Learning Environment

High-energy, learning-centered environment unites University’s essential student-learning support services 

The Learning Commons in Falvey support a range of activities, including research, individual and group work, tutoring and consultation, and presentation development

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Beginning in August 2011, the second floor of Villanova University’s Falvey Memorial Library was gutted and transformed to create a fresh, high-energy, learning-centered environment, while also uniting the University’s essential student-learning support services.

In this, the age of technology, PCs, tablets, and other mobile devices complement print collections. College students are using this technology to perform the research they did years ago through books and other periodicals. For this reason, Falvey Memorial Library redefined itself as a digital age learning environment that supports a range of activities, including individual study and group work, tutoring and consultation, and presentation and communication skill development.

Villanova will officially dedicate the new “Learning Commons in Falvey,” Friday, Feb. 17, 2012 at 1 p.m.

“The nature of physical collections and how we understand and use them is undergoing a dramatic transformation into a digital environment,” said Joe Lucia, University Librarian and Director of Falvey Memorial Library. “Libraries are moving towards more experiential space that better facilitates learning.”

The new Learning Commons brings Falvey’s Research Center together with the University’s Writing Center, Math Learning Resource Center and Learning Support Services.  Featuring new technology throughout, the Learning Commons in Falvey is also home to numerous shared multipurpose, conference and presentation rooms, the print reference collection, an open lounge area, and various study spaces.

“The new Learning Commons in Falvey is an engaging, state-of-the-art center for learning and inquiry,” added Lucia. “Beyond convenience and amenities, the goal of this project was to enhance the learning environment. We wanted to create a more seamless network of support for our students by consolidating the learning space and establishing a central location for support resources.”

The renovations and additions to the Learning Commons were designed by BLT Architects, an integrated architectural and interior design firm based in Philadelphia. Based on a “learning commons” philosophy, the design was developed around a shared “street” concept that exposes users to all of the academic support resources the University offers. Each program has its own dedicated office and work spaces that open onto a commodious corridor that doubles as lounge and break-out space. Arranged around the building perimeter, these spaces have large windows for ample daylight and views. More information can be found at

About Falvey Memorial Library:

Falvey Memorial Library serves as the premier source of academic information for the Villanova University community through its collections, educational and consulting services, innovative technology, programming and physical facilities. The Library seeks to provide an inviting environment conducive to study, learning, and research. Falvey provides relevant print, electronic, and audiovisual collections to support the learning and research activities of students and faculty, complemented by specialized collections reflecting the University's Augustinian heritage. The Library also sponsors events and programming that enrich the cultural and intellectual life of the campus and the surrounding community. In addition, it participates with other libraries in the preservation of knowledge and cooperates in resource sharing at local, regional, national and international levels.

About Villanova University:

Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others.  There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.