Tutoring and Peer Support
Students benefit from the availability of tutors in their preferred productivity spaces.
Learning commons frequently feature student tutors, or staff tutors, or a mix of the two.
Hours of service are gradually lengthening into the evening when students are most in
need of assistance. Key skills required in writing, math, computing, and foundation
courses are supported.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst Learning Commons features peer
tutors who are available over extended hours.
Full-time staff and peer tutors have offices in the Weigle Commons at the
University of Pennsylvania’s Van Pelt-Dietrich Library.
The Learning Commons at University of Guelph’s McLaughlin Library
“offers a wide range of peer helper programs, with students helping students
through writing assistance, study workshops, supported learning group
sessions, and one-on-one teaching of IT skills.”
Cafés and Refreshment
Libraries have been inspired by the refreshment centers in commercial bookstores. Today
most libraries have relaxed food-and-drink rules to permit refreshment throughout all or
most areas of library space. Ready access to good food and drink serves to keep
constituents in libraries for long stretches of time, and forms a cornerstone of most new
The café at Georgia Tech Library has helped to double library attendance. At
certain times of the day, the café bristles with laptops and flipcharts that are
dragged in from nearby study areas, and serves as a communing ground for
students and faculty.
Bookends Café in the Parks Library of Iowa State University is an anchor for
the Learning Connections Center, and “immensely popular” with students.
The extensive Friedman Café occupies a substantial footprint of the Brown
University Friedman Study Center, offering a mix of standard and relaxed
seating, and with vending machines available to customers when the café closes.
Learning and Research Spaces in ARL Libraries: Snapshots of Installations and Experiments
C O N T I N U E D
JUNE 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC