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Libraries Unveil Learning Terrace to over 250 at Grand Opening

June 7, 2011

The twilight opening began at 9 PM and featured music from DJ Mike Mannix, finals' week snacks and colorful glow stick bracelets. As the patio outside the Terrace filled with attendees, their wrists aglow, the sighting of the first star kicked-off the opening remarks.

Dean of Libraries, Danuta A. Nitecki, spoke to the crowd about the exciting possibilities of the new Library Learning Terrace and the opportunity for student feedback to help define the space. 'This twilight event is an excellent correlation for what this new Terrace is. Twilight is a not-quite-defined time and this is a not-quite-defined space. We're looking for your input, your feedback and your requests to continue to make the Terrace the best possible learning environment for the Drexel community' Nitecki said.

Women and men stand in a room with colorful tables and chairs
Students explore the Library Learning Terrace for the very first time.

Nitecki then invited the first three prize recipients, students who had been randomly selected to be the first three learners to enter the new Terrace, to join her in a countdown to the unveiling. As the crowd counted three, two, one...the shades of the Terrace were drawn and the attendees saw the new Terrace for the first time. The excited first-three led the way, as students rushed into the new space.

The Library Learning Terrace is a 3,000 square foot space located on the ground floor of the Race Street Residence Hall and offers seating for up to 75 students in a flexible and mobile environment. 'Everything is on wheels,' one student at the event remarked, and almost everything is.

'The space is designed to be flexible,' Nitecki said, 'so that students can arrange the furnishings to work individually or in groups of any size.'

The over 200 students who visited the space seemed to enjoy the flexible concept as they quickly discovered the mobile marker boards and chairs and began arranging the furniture to seat their friends. One group brought their own projector, to project onto one of the mobile white marker board, and began working collaboratively on a computer science assignment before the event commenced.

The Library Learning Terrace will be open all day and night beginning with the 9 PM opening ceremony and ending with the conclusion of finals later this week, as will the Libraries' W. W. Hagerty Library location at 33rd and Market Streets.

Article by: Jenny James Lee with contributions from Danuta A. Nitecki and Erdy McHenry Architects.