A couple of weeks ago the University of South Pacific (USP) Library celebrated the Opening Ceremony of their newly renovated library on their Laucala Campus in Suva, Fiji. The newly renovated library will cater the seating of 1120 students.
The Learning Commons is located on Level A of the University Library and has newly renovated interactive spaces for students to study. It supports a holistic approach to academic support for students, through a more flexible learning environment that enables an efficient and effective, coordinated and collaborative approach to learning and teaching.
It also complements the shifts in educational pedagogy and enhances learning, teaching and student support through a more flexible learning and information sharing environment.
The Vice-Chancellor and President of The University of the South Pacific, Professor Pal Ahluwalia officially opened the library and said, “A good library is essential to ensuring students and researchers that they have the best access to what the world has to offer.”
Professor Ahluwalia noted that a pleasing thing about this initiative is that the library is now transforming itself into a more interactive learning space, and this, he added, will bring about a difference among the students. “This Library Commons will provide students with a more flexible environment for learning which is in tune with the kind of pedagogies that the University is trying to encourage and develop,” Professor Ahluwalia said.
The university librarian, Elizabeth Reade Fong, said the renovation was done to cater for the learning styles of Millennials, included their preference of technology and devices. Ms. Fong said their aim was to support and expand the student-centered approaches. “Our independent learning process accommodates different study types such as, group or quiet, and reflects the diversity of human behavior,” she said. “Our vision for USP Library is to be a premiere academic library and leader in information provision and services in the Pacific region.”
Ms. Fong added, “Our mission is to advance the university’s mission by providing equitable regional access to excellent library and information services, resources and facilities for students and faculty and the wider Pacific community to facilitate their lifelong learning activities.”
Some of the services provided at the Learning Commons include: One-stop-shop that provides space for student support services inclusive of SLS, ITS, SAS, and the Disability Unit; bookable discussions spaces named Latui, Belo and Kikau; general use Yalu Lounge: Information Research Skills (IRS) Lab dedicated to information literacy training , Learning Labs; Coffee cart service; a gender neutral toilet; and a seating capacity of up to 600 users.
“The library benchmarks itself against international library and technology scene; whilst we think Global we also act Local,” Ms Fong said.
The USP Library network, comprising 22 libraries that are located across the USP member countries offers more than 1 million books, 26,000 full text titles accessible via multidisciplinary databases with 24/7 access from the Library website, and over 300 print serial subscriptions.