Academic Tech Commons Design Awarded American Libraries Award
The Academic Tech Commons (ATC) in Pius XII Library has been recognized in American Libraries’ 2018 Library Design Showcase, which appears in the magazine’s September/October
issue and is available online here.
The magazine calls the tech commons a standout feature which reimagines the academic
“Inspired by the Genius Bar at Apple stores, the ‘Ask SLU’ concierge service features
walk-up information desks where patrons can receive tech support from both students
and faculty,” the American Library Association noted.
Saint Louis University, along with its architectural design firm RATIO, was one of
17 institutions honored by the American Library Association for their new and renovated
libraries. The annual feature in the ALA’s American Libraries honors innovative and interesting academic, public, school and special library constructions
that effectively address user needs.
The featured projects were completed between May 1, 2017, and April 30, 2018. SLU’s
14,000 square-foot creator space in the Pius XII Memorial Library opened on Nov. 14,
The space includes 3D printers, 360 cameras, recording studios and hologram technology
among its arsenal of innovative technologies. The ATC features modular seating as
well as work areas to support individual or group work.
“The ATC provides state-of-the-art technology in newly designed spaces on the first
floor of Pius XII Memorial Library that supports an evolving information environment
of learning, teaching and research,” said David Cassens, dean of University Libraries.
Quick print and charging stations are available and library users have the option
to check out tablets, cameras and laptops while also accessing video editing and creation
The project was a collaboration that included the University Libraries, Information
Technology Services (ITS) and the Student Government Association (SGA). The first
phase of the project was announced in May 2017.
Two additional phases are planned for the ATC project, which include the creation
of two new active learning classrooms, a flexible recording studio and small group
study spaces. The SGA provided critical financial support to the project. Funds from
existing student technology fees will fund a portion of the costs for the project
over the next four years.
Other Missouri honorees this year include the post-tornado renovated Joplin Public
Library and the John M. Olin Library at Washington University in St. Louis.
Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious
Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first
university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers nearly 13,000 students a rigorous,
transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse
community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares
students to make the world a better, more just place.