Digital Commons Open House

Illustration of a house with the text Digital Commons Open House.

What was once a space for students to check e-mail or work on a paper in the lower level of Western Illinois University's Leslie F. Malpass Library has been transformed into a concept in learning and collaborate spaces. The remodeled Digital Commons will be used as a prototype for future uTech lab efforts and will evolve to support students' needs and emerging technologies.

An open house to unveil the re-designed Digital Commons (Malpass library first level) will be held from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Thursday, April 26 in conjunction with Tech Fest 2012, which will be held from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in Horrabin Hall. Currently enrolled students who visit the commons during the open house can register to win an Apple iPad 2, and Malpass Mocha will be available to library and open house patrons.

University Libraries and University Technology (uTech) staff will be on hand to demonstrate the highlights of technology and space changes being tested as a concept for the lab of the future including a print release station, book-scanning station, a phone-charging kiosk, a video-editing room and a presentation-practice room.

"University Technology's goal is to create lab spaces that our students want and need. The student body was surveyed to find out what tools and types of spaces they wanted available in campus labs. Based on the results, the Digital Commons was a great test location site to implement those ideas," said Joe Rives, vice president for Quad Cities, planning and technology. "This was a collaborative effort with University Libraries and we are excited for our campus community and the many patrons of the Malpass Library to begin using this state-of-the-art facility."

In addition, the Digital Commons features new furniture, a group study space and new computer work stations, with such software as Apple's Final Cut Pro, Motion 5 and CS 5.5.

"The remodeling and upgrade of the Digital Commons area is a positive change for University Libraries," said University Libraries Dean Phyllis Self. "We look forward to showcasing the opportunities available to the campus."

For more information, contact Shannon Cramer of uTech at or (309) 298-2517 or Tammy Sayles of University Libraries at or (309) 298-3298.