Thanks to a recent gift of $100,000, the final phase of the Information Commons, a new technology-driven lounge and study space in the Williams Library, will soon be complete.

“We are incredibly excited about the completion of this much needed-new space for our students and other library patrons,” said Dean Julia Rholes. “There is a vast universe of materials now available in digital formats and, thanks to this generous gift, our students will be able to access them. The state-of-the-art technology and cozy spaces will make studying and conducting research in the information commons a pleasure.”

The donor of the gift wishes to remain anonymous, but according to Michael Upton, development officer for University Libraries, the need for the commons was widely known around campus.

“We received this generous gift from a faculty member who was aware of the project and felt it was a great opportunity to serve the students and university," Upton said.

The funds will be used to help purchase furniture, allowing the commons area to be open and fully functional by the 2009 spring semester. Construction is expected to be completed during the 2008 winter break.

Stan Whitehorn, operations manager, said he is grateful for the support.

"For the past 10 years, there has been a movement in the library community to have an information commons," Whitehorn said.  “More students are sticking around in here to study, and we’re here to make that experience better."

Plans include three group study areas, 43 new computer stations, comfortable and stylish furniture and an updated copy and print station. The area was designed and is being decorated by Suzanne McCartney of University Facilities Planning.

The entire cost for the commons is approximately $250,000, which has been raised through private sources.

 By Anna Stephens