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This guide provides information concerning the new Learning Commons @ Rod Library project.
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Photo by Elaine Chen, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Questions can be directed to members of the Learning Commons Task Force by using the

Learning Commons Task Force Members:

Pete Callaghan (Chair) - Rod Library

Ben Arnold - ITS-User Services

Emily Borcherding - Academic Learning Center

Gail Bunz - Rod Library

Kavita Dhanwada - Ccllege of Humanities, Arts and Sciences

Deirdre Heistad - Languages and Literatures

Jerilyn Marshall - Rod Library

Alexander Newkirk - Student representative

Angela Pratesi - Rod Library

Lori Seawel - ITS-Educational Technology

Julie Williamson- Rod Library



    Photo by Lori Seawel, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa


    By providing both a physical and organizational structure, the learning commons seeks to benefit the campus community with the following central goals:

    • Create a central hub for faculty, staff, students, and the community to exchange ideas and enjoy a collective pursuit of learning.
    • Offer connected learning experiences through service adjacencies and coordinated learning support.
    • Provide a venue for enriching UNI's learning culture with seminars, dialogues, and events

    The Learning Commons supports the mission of the University of Northern Iowa to provide“transformative learning experiences that inspire students to embrace challenge, engage in critical inquiry and creative thought, and contribute to society.”

    The Learning Commons supports the Library’s goals to provide “high quality services responsive to the changing cultural, research, and informational needs of our community” and “functional, flexible, inviting, safe, technology-equipped learning spaces.”


    Image from Wikimedia Commons, public domain

    In our vision, a renovated and re-envisioned Rod Library will be a gathering place for the campus to access and interact with information in all its forms, where campus academic and scholarly activity is celebrated from discovery to creation to presentation.  It will include experimental classrooms, campus presentation spaces, access to the latest technologies, and collections of unique physical materials supporting campus curricula and showcasing campus history.

    The new Rod Library will be a vibrant intellectual and social forum for the campus community, the intellectual center of the campus.  It will be a beautiful and inspiring signature building that embodies UNI’s commitment to student learning and scholarship. 

    We look forward to working with UNI’s faculty and students to further develop this vision and help it to become a reality.



      The Digital Media Hub, part of Phase 1 of the Learning Commons, is north of the Reference Desk on the main floor of Rod Library.  Eventually the entire main floor will be transformed into the Learning Commons.

      Map of Floor 2, Rod Library, Learning Commons Space


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