In March 2017, the library was awarded a $65,000 grant from Steelcase Education to transform our main library classroom, which was last renovated in 1998, from a traditional lecture style room, into an “Active Learning Center.” The new space enables librarians to experiment with and incorporate a variety of active learning strategies into their classes. It also serves as a primary workshop space for the Center for Teaching and Learning, which is housed in the Library.
As part of this grant, we are assessing whether renovating and furnishing this space with flexible furniture has had an impact on the teaching and learning that takes place there. This is a collaborative effort between the Research, Teaching, & Learning Services division, the Special Collections and Libraries division, and the Claremont Colleges Center for Teaching & Learning.
During this Active Learning Center’s first year, the impact has been profound on those who use it. Students and faculty who come in for instruction sessions have also taken a liking to the space. When it first opened in August 2017, we immediately began to get requests from students to use it as a study space and for faculty to teach their courses there for the entire semester. Those who teach in the classroom have been its strongest supporters. One teaching librarian recently remarked, “I only want to teach in the ALC classroom!”