New Knowledge Commons area to open at Pattee Library on Jan. 9

December 01, 2011

Content, learning and knowledge will meet technology and assistance to transform scholarship and education with the opening of the new Tombros and McWhirter Knowledge Commons in Pattee Library on the first day of classes for the spring semester, Jan. 9, 2012.

A website with an interactive floor plan at illustrates the new services and areas that will be available. To see photos of the commons, visit

The Knowledge Commons is an innovative collaboration among Penn State's University Libraries, Media Commons, and Information Technology Services providing a "one-stop shop" for students to complete assignments, from research papers to videos.

There will be 17 new group study rooms that can be reserved online. Many are equipped with Media:Scape that joins people, space and technology to boost collaboration and help groups excel, allowing up to eight individuals to connect laptops to a single monitor for collaborative assignments. A wide variety of learning spaces will meet student needs, from a relaxing Reading Room with the latest bestsellers, "living rooms" with comfortable lounge furniture, two presentation practice studios to perfect oral communication skills, multimedia production spaces for audio/video creation, and even a room with a 3D television and Blu-Ray player.

Plus the Knowledge Commons will have 48 PCs and 40 Macs with ample room for students to spread out books and papers or to work with classmates and innovative instruction rooms including a small (12–15 capacity) group instruction room and a high-tech multimedia classroom.

Best of all, librarians and library staff, media specialists and technology consultants will be available to answer questions in person and virtually. And the Knowledge Commons (all of first floor Pattee Library) and the News and Microform Library (lower level) will be open 24 hours a day, five days a week.

Plans are under way for a public expo in February. Coming in March, Library Services for Persons with Disabilities will relocate to the first floor of Pattee Library and be renamed Adaptive Technology and Services and the Gateway will reopen as the Sidewater Commons. For more information, call 814-863-4240.

  • Students study, relax and converse in the partially completed Barbara Hackman Franklin Atrium. The atrium is part of the new Tombros and McWhirter Knowledge Commons in Pattee Library. Click on the image above for more photos.

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated December 06, 2011