Science Commons is a new student gathering spot

Interior view of an atrium

Interior view of the Science Commons Atrium.

This summer, work was completed on the Science Commons, a multi-disciplinary science library located in the four-story atrium that is the centerpiece of the new Atwood Chemistry Center. The Science Commons features services and collections that expand beyond chemistry, housing collections from a range of scientific areas and featuring a full service desk.

As expected, the space has become a popular gathering spot for students.

“It’s more than a library,” said Amy Boucher, head of Access Services, which manages the branch libraries, “The library services are a subset. It has become as much of a social space as a studying space.”

The Science Commons has print collections that include a selection of the most recent and heavily used titles, as well as science journals and popular science reading. Chemistry reserves are kept behind the service desk, which is open 9 – 5 each day. There is also a printing station and there are plans for a self-check station for students to be able to check out their own books.

Oliver Smith manages the facility. “I see people browsing all the time. One of the nicest features is all of the natural light that comes in on sunny days.”

picture of cafe seating in the science commons

Cafe seating in the Science Commons.

The Highland Bakery is another big draw for students, where they can sit at tables to study over a bagel or pastries. There is also a filtered water station.

The library features seven carol rooms and two classrooms and the entire space can be booked for events. There have been ice-cream socials, chemistry-sponsored events, and a few LITS-based training sessions.

The project was first proposed in 2009 and construction of the new chemistry building lasted for over two years. The Chemistry Department drove the design features of the new library space, but collaborated with Library Services during the project. The former chemistry holdings were moved out of their old space in 2013 and moved back during July 2015.

“We offer all of the same services as we did before,” said Boucher. “Patrons can still order books to be picked up. This will probably be a popular pickup spot for Georgia Tech materials as the LSC becomes fully operational.”

Chris Doty, who is one of the science liaisons for the library, has office hours in the Science Commons and regularly meets with students individually.

Take a few minutes soon to walk by and see this beautiful space for yourself.

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