New Main Library facility fast becoming a hub for students
Thursday, August 29, 2013

The exchange scrawled across a group-study room window in the new Main Library Learning Commons says it all.

“Tell us what you like!”


The 37,000-square-foot facility opened just a few days ago with the start of the fall semester, but it’s already buzzing with activity—groups clustered in study rooms, solo studiers camped out in nooks, students taking breaks in the centrally located café.

The Learning Commons is a major upgrade to the University of Iowa’s Main Library, and the result of collaboration between University Libraries, Information Technology Services, and the Office of the Provost. Occupying much of the library’s first floor, the whole space is designed for flexibility and interaction.

Other features include:

  • A 45-seat TILE (Transform, Interact, Learn, Engage) classroom
  • A consolidated service desk where staff can field academic, research, and technology questions
  • A new library entrance off Madison Street

Construction crews and UI staff scrambled to open the space in time for the Aug. 26 start of the academic year. A few finishing touches remain, but the Learning Commons now is open 24-hours-a-day (with the exception of Friday and Saturday nights).