Gibson D. Lewis Library a model for 21st century learning environment

January 23, 2014

Think a library is a quiet place? Think again.

At UNT Health Science Center’s Gibson D. Lewis Library, students gather around café-style booths, big screens, virtual dissection tables and semi-private nooks. They talk about projects, research online and practice their presentations.

The Lewis Library is leading a revolution to better serve today’s health care professionals in training. Gone are the old-school forests of floor-to-ceiling books, magazines and journals. In their place stand furniture and space designed to promote collaboration and creativity.

Students and professors increasingly use online material rather than printed books and journals, and they work together on shared networks. The Collaborative Learning Commons provides a habitat for all this and more.

“Students want to do group and individual study, create group presentations, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, and socialize with their friends, all in the same space,” said Library Director Dan Burgard. “We created flexible places where students can get exactly the level of interaction that they want and can even be ‘alone in public’ if they choose.”

3rd Floor of the the Gibson D. Lewis LIbrary
before the renovations

The library’s 2011 renovation attracts leaders in the field who tour the facility to learn how other institutions can replicate its success. The library is a model for others to follow, said Dixie Jones, MLS, President of the Medical Library Association and Director of LSU Health Shreveport‘s Health Sciences Library.

“These creative spaces truly make the Lewis Library a 21st-century facility, geared toward the needs and comfort of its users,” she said.

Working with Provost Thomas Yorio, PhD, and Vice Provost Renee Drabier, PhD, MBA, library personnel coordinated the removal of 86 percent of the library’s print material and shelving – more than 100 tons or half the weight of the Statue of Liberty. The middle floor of the library building was turned into a commons space while the top floor is now a 24/7 quiet study area. About 600 electrical outlets were added for students’ laptops and other devices, and Internet connectivity was enhanced to eliminate dead spots.

Read a book chapter by Drabier and Burgard on the library transformation.

Hsc Tcom Gold Humanism Society Inductees Fc
TCOM Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society welcomes new inductees 

By Steven Bartolotta The humanistic side of medicine is alive and well at Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. The TCOM Chapter of the Arnold P Gold Foundation inducted 45 students and four faculty members into the Gold Humanism Honor Society on the campus of The University of North Texas H...Read more

Jun 15, 2021

John Licciardone Hsc Fort Worth Fc
eHealth interventions could help African-American patients in battle with chronic pain

By Steven Bartolotta The PRECISION Pain Research Registry at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth has identified important racial disparities in pain management that became more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its study recently published in the special COVID...Read more

Jun 14, 2021

Diana Cervantes. Assistant Professor Biostatistics & Epidemiology
Dr. Diana Cervantes named among Fort Worth’s ‘most influential’ for public health service during the pandemic

By Sally Crocker Dr. Diana Cervantes has spent the last year keeping people informed and updated on all things coronavirus, and now she’s being recognized as one of Fort Worth Inc.’s “400 Most Influential People” for helping protect the community’s health during the pandemic. Dr....Read more

Jun 8, 2021

Opal Lee photo by Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Celebrating Juneteenth

By Diane Smith-Pinckney On June 19 1865, Major General Gordan Granger marched into Galveston with a critical message: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”  This was the opening se...Read more

Jun 8, 2021