CASE STUDY: Drexel University Libraries, United States, Learning Terraces

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This case study is part of the Power to the Librarian series, which profiled exceptional library professionals in a variety of roles from information literacy to showcasing the quality and impact of the academic research enterprise. Click here to find a listing of and links to all Power to the Librarian case studies (available in multiple languages) and webinars.

Drexel University in Philadelphia has begun experimenting with a Learning Terrace, a physical location in which its librarians play an important role but which houses no books whatsoever.
Intended as the first of many, the Learning Terrace is located close to a dormitory in which students of all disciplines live. It occupies an area of 3,000 sq ft, is planned to accommodate 75 students at any one time and its purpose is to foster new methods of learning and co-operation between students.
Danuta A. Nitecki is Dean of Libraries and Professor at the College of Information Science & Technology at Drexel. For her the Learning Terrace is the first example of an experimental new approach at the University which encourages students to take ownership of the learning process. Collaboration and self learning, underpinned by modern technology and digital content, are the themes of the experiment.

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