Alan Gilbert Learning Commons opens its doors

Published on 16 October 12

With more than 1000 flexible study spaces – and plenty of places to plug in your laptop - the new Learning Commons opens its doors on Monday, 1 October.

Designed entirely with your feedback in mind, the 21st Century study space promises to be an inspiring and flexible place for individual and group study. Tours have been taking place all week (places are still available Thursday 27th and Friday 28th September), so we asked three students to join one and make a video of their first impressions:

Video report by Izzy Rose, 3rd year History of Art; Jamie Taylor, 2nd year International Business, Finance, and Economics; and, Mattie Thaddeus-Johns, 3rd year Drama and English Literature.

*Notes: 1.Laptop cables will be not available for loan from the beginning of opening; 2.Martin O'Dwyer is the IT Support Co-ordinator for The University of Manchester Library, not Head of IT as stated in the video.

Opening Hours

Monday 1 - Sunday 14 October

9am to 5pm

Monday 15 - Sunday 28 October

Mon-Fri 9am to 9pm

Sat & Sun 9am - 5pm

From Monday 29 October

Term time 24/7

Out of term limited opening hours apply. See the Learning Commons information page on The University of Manchester Library website


Learning Commons: The Facts

  • More than 1000 study spaces, over four floors
  • 400 PCs, including a Skype cluster with built-in webcams
  • Hundreds of individual, group, and mixed study spaces, almost all with plug sockets for laptops
  • 30 bookable group study rooms, from space for two to twelve, with cluster PCs and large screens to plug laptops into
  • First-come-first-served social group study areas, each with a large screen TV to plug a laptop into. All of the necessary cables are available on loan from the reception desk on the ground floor
  • Plenty of choices for alternative study spaces, including inviting oak panelled window-ledges with inspiring views of Oxford Road campus
  • WiFi throughout the building, including the café and green space outside
  • A dedicated team of staff will provide guidance and support for all your needs

Creative inspiration

To provide inspiration for everybody studying and working in the Learning Commons, its fabric and facilities celebrate the University’s rich heritage of achievement and innovation.  As part of a competition last year, students have created designs reflective of the Manchester experience, which are printed onto the walls, doors and glass panelling of the learning spaces for everyone to see.

Alan Gilbert Lear

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