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Penn Libraries News

Departmental Library Spotlight: Education Commons

Three people using virtual reality headsets.

This year, the intrepid team at the Education Commons, Emerging Technologies Librarian Chava Spivak-Birndorf and Teaching & Learning Librarian Meaghan Moody, has made it their mission to foster a lively and inclusive atmosphere for innovative creation, making great strides toward their goal of everyone at Penn recognizing the name of “the library space at Franklin Field”.

Their powerhouse programming lineup began in September with the hands-on emerging technology showcase “The New Reality,” where participants were taken on an activity-filled voyage through the Education Commons’ vast array of virtual reality (VR)/artificial reality (AR) and 3D printing/scanning resources. October and November brought the first few installments of their “Women in Sci-Fi” monthly movie series, drop-in hours in their new TinkerLab space, and a 3D jewelry design and printing workshop.

The new programming has been made possible by the purchase of new technology resources available both for use in the Education Commons spaces and for lending.

These resources include a self-serve 3D printer, a self-serve 3D scanner, 3D pens, an electronic paper and vinyl cutting machine, VR headsets, and robotic kits.

The spring semester will bring the opening of a gaming studio to serve the needs of students, faculty, and researchers who are interested in creating high-tech gaming experiences. As the semester progresses, the room will be outfitted with a large display screen, Oculus Rift, and other gaming technology.

For more information on the Education Commons’ fantastic programming, technology, and spaces, as well its operating hours, please visit their homepage.