Bates College Ladd Library

Lewiston, Maine

Bates College Ladd Library and Learning Commons

The main issue of this program was to create a progressive library that is a resource rich, social space, that is able to adapt as social needs change, while bringing more academic activities into Ladd.  Flexible spaces are one of the keys to this project as they are conducive to varied types and sizes of group learning.  The ability to maximize and leverage ever-changing technology is an important goal to achieve in the creation of this space.

In addition to the elements of a traditional library (i.e. research and circulation), the proposed project includes space for: a reconfigured and multi-functional Inner Library Loan area, a large Multipurpose Room, a Writing and Speaking Lab; a Math and Statistics Lab; small study rooms; some office space; a computing Help Desk; a Café, a Presentation Rehearsal Studio as well as multiple and various groups study spaces that are infused throughout the Library.

Guiding principles in the design are:

  • Improve wayfinding
  • Make the library intuitive to all users
  • Collaborative learning
  • Creation, innovation, experimentation
  • Inclusive
  • Accessible (literally and figuratively)
  • Aspirational
  • A catalyst, not a mere consolidation
  • Flexibility
  • Integration
  • Must value the human interaction surrounding learning
  • Technology woven through all aspects of the Commons
  • Multi-functional
  • Optimize technology
  • Maximize resources

The program for the “Learning Commons” is integrated within the physical boundaries of the Ladd Library at Bates College.  The Learning Commons provides a place for collaborative learning where students, faculty, and professional staff learn from peers and colleagues and from each other.  The majority of the Learning Commons occupies portions of the first and ground floors. The project are comprises about 42,000 square feet of the 90,000 Ladd Library.

Highlight: “The Learning Commons provides a place for collaborative learning where students, faculty, and professional staff learn from peers and colleagues and from each other.”

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