There’s no doubting the recent enhancements to the Abbot Vincent Taylor Library, a $1.5 million investment thanks to a very generous donor, have improved our students’ experience at the library. New work areas, new lighting, new windows and new shelving not only help to make the library a more pleasant experience but also perform practical functions. We’re thankful for the improvements, but the vision for our library goes beyond improvements to a wholesale evolution.

When the first monks and students arrived in Belmont some 140 years ago, they too had a vision, one of establishing a tradition of knowledge preservation and learning. From these seeds, a library eventually developed under the leadership of Abbot Vincent Taylor, a sophisticated research library st emerged. And now in this 21 century, we have an obligation to pursue the next phase of knowledge development for our students – the Learning Commons.

Collaboration, skills enhancement and information literacy–these are the areas our facility needs to serve for our students–for the good of their futures, both in our classrooms and in their careers beyond our campus.

“It is not about technology per se, but rather how a library reshapes itself around students and faculty who use technology in pursuit of learning,” said Don Beagle, Director of Library Services at the Abbey, in his book The Information Commons Handbook. Our own library director wrote the book on this evolution from a collection of books to a place than elevates learning in a way that will make our students the leaders of tomorrow.