Students at the Costa Rican Technological Institute (TEC) now have an interactive space for learning, the Learning Commons Library, unique in Costa Rica and Central America.
A Learning Commons is defined as “an interactive space for learning that brings together investigation, games and collaborative work in order to promote the use of technology and digital resources available. It is designed to move students beyond mere research, practice and group work to a greater level of engagement through exploration, experimentation and collaboration”, ((Loertscher, Koechlin and Rosenfeld, 2012, 1)).
The Learning Commons of TEC is the fist completely digital library, users will search for information in the different data bases to which TEC is registered. The 1060 square meters space is distributed in two floors and incorporates environmentally friendly elements. The lighting is based in sensor movements and the room has natural light and ventilation. The room is surrounded by green area.
The space includes a general group study room for up to 40 users, 4 group study rooms for 8 users each with touch screen and audiovisual equipment; individual reading room for 24 users; 4 video rooms for 8 users each with technological equipment, 1 BibLab for 48 users, 2 rest or social rooms, vending area, information stand, alphabetization stand, administrative space and a balcony.
The Learning Commons is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
“I proudly celebrate that colleagues of the Library System and this Institution bet on this dream, a project that is still not concluded, but that instead it is just beginning and serves as an example for many other libraries and library systems in out country have first class libraries”, commented Dr. Magda Sandi, professor of the Library Science and Information Science of the University of Costa Rica.