De La Salle University Library, now The Learning Commons!

The Henry Sy, Sr. Hall:
The home of The Learning Commons
The De La Salle University (DLSU) Library, now called The Learning Commons, recently transferred to its new home at the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall.  Envisioned to be the central hub that will serve as the intellectual crossroad for the university, the Learning Commons opened its doors to the Lasallian community last 17 December 2012. 

The Henry Sy, Sr. Hall
The 14-storey structure, built in honor of the 100th anniversary of Lasallian presence in the Philippines, is likened to a “habitable tree.”  The team of architects from the Leandro V. Locsin Partners, Architect designed the building as such to inject environmental sensitivity despite being in the midst of the very congested and busy Taft Avenue area.  Completed and opened in January 2013, the building is considered as the very first academic structure to garner the Philippines’ Berde Standard, which means that the Hall is green and eco-friendly.  The building boasts of green roof, solar panels, a rainwater collection system, water re-use system, pocket gardens, and open areas.  The interior areas of the building took the name of the various parts of life-giving and nurturing tree, namely, the The Meadow, La Racine, Heartwood, Verdure, The Grove, Nests, Springwood and Summerwood. The building’s concept also exemplifies the important role of DLSU to Philippine education.

The Learning Commons occupies part of the 5th floor, as well as the 6th to the 13th floors of the building. It showcases its indoor gardens, outdoor reading areas, lounges, discussion rooms, meeting/conference rooms, and multipurpose halls and wide-open spaces. 

The Heartwood
The Heartwood: Main Lobby of the Learning Commons
The Heartwood (6th floor) serves as the main lobby of the Learning Commons.  This 2,490 sq. m. area is a place for students to hangout and/or study.  Being the “heart” of the Learning Commons, it is one of the most occupied as events are regularly held on this floor which likewise serves as the main exhibit area. An information desk is stationed at the entrance of the lobby to address all the library-related concerns of the community.  This floor is also home to the Director’s Office and the receiving area for new acquisitions.  The newest facility of the Learning Commons, the Self-Check Out Machine, is also located on this level.

The entrance to the Learning Commons
The Heartwood will showcase
The Learning Commons' educational & cultural exhibits
The Self-Check Out machine is near the Information Desk

The outside of the Director's Office
The Cafe, one of the well-liked facilities of the Learning Commons, currently has 38 internet-equipped public computers. Additional computers will soon be added to complete 70 computer terminals.  A 110-seating capacity reading and lounge area is located beside the Cafe. In addition, light snacks and beverages will soon be served in this part of the Learning Commons.

The Instructional Media Services/Systems Services which holds about 9,000 video recordings and assorted resources (such as audio tapes, slides, posters, and multimedia sources in CD, VCD, and DVD formats) and manages a wide array of audio-visual and projection equipment and devices used for classroom activities and other university-sponsored events is also located on the 6th floor.

The computer terminals of the Cafe
The Instructional Media Services: where audiovisual resources
(i.e., CD's & DVD's) and audio equipment (e.g., mics, recorders, & speakers)
are loaned to patrons

The Learning Commons
The 7th to the 13th floors serve as the main study hall and repository of books and other educational materials of the University. 

The entrance to the 7F Information-Reference Section
The Information / Reference Section occupying a total floor area of 2,490 sq. m. which can sit 236 patrons at a time is on the 7th floor of the building. It houses the general reference works, i.e., encyclopaedia, directories, dictionaries, atlases, and yearbooks and also includes art books, books in sets, sacred works, encyclical letters, proverbs, quotations, vertical file materials, etc. The Information-Reference also serves as depository of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization- International Environmental Education Programme (UNESCO-IEEP) publications. On the same floor are 12 computer terminals that are used for research and accessing online electronic resources subscribed by the Library.

Computer terminals on the 7th floor Information-Reference Section

Reading areas at the 7th floor

A view of the Circulation Section, 8th floor
The Circulation Collection, which accounts for the biggest percentage of the entire library collection, spans from 7th floor up to the 8th floor mezzanine.  It covers collections on all subject areas that support the academic and leisure needs of all types of library users.  The 8th floor has a seating capacity of 312.

Reading areas at the 8th floor
Reading areas at the 8th floor Mezzanine

The journal issues display at the Periodicals Section, 9F
The Periodicals Collection, which brings together both print and electronic journals, occupies the 9th floor. It has a floor area of 2, 626 sq. m. and has a total seating capacity of 312.

The 9th floor mezzanine houses the Filipiniana Collection consisting of all publications about the Philippines, its peoples and culture, regardless of author, imprint, and language.  The types of materials included are general reference materials, Literary History of the Philippines (LIHIP) collection, International Corpus of English-Philippine Component Project (ICEPH) collection, Manila-Malate collection, map collection, rare periodicals, Rizaliana collection, Philippine English Data collection, and vertical file collection.  Filipiniana periodical materials are integrated with the periodical collection found on the same floor. Likewise, duplicates of selected current Filipiniana reference titles that are sources of demographic and statistical data are kept at the Information-Reference Section (7th floor). Preservation copies that include file copies, rare books, and books with dedication and author’s signature are housed at the Preservation Room, 5th floor.

The Mezzanine at the 9th floor houses the Filipiniana Collection

The University Archives occupies the 10th and 11th floors with a combined area of 4, 513 sq. m. and seating capacity of 692.  This section holds the collection of the “official memory” of the DLSU.  It was organized in 1973 as the College Archives, and became a major unit of the Library in 1989. Its collections span the entire history of the University, from 1911 to the present. Despite the loss of many of the early records and library holding kept in the old building because of the Second World War, this section still holds a significant collection of university memorabilia, numismatics, and artworks. The University archives also serves as the official repository of the La Salliana collection and the collection of faculty and student publications, graduate, undergraduate, and faculty theses and dissertations.  Plans as to what collection would be at the 12th floor is still underway. 

The lobby at the 13th Floor of the Learning Commons
The 2,626 sq. m. 13th floor houses the American Studies Resource Center (ASRC), European Documentation Center (EDC), and the various special collections.

The ASRC has collection of books, videotapes, periodicals and other library materials related to the studies of the United States.  This collection also aims to support the American Studies Program of the University.  

The EDC is a joint project of the European Commission and the European Studies Consortium of the Philippines.  EDC collects materials specifically on the twenty seven member countries of the European Union.  It likewise supports the European Studies Programs and collects materials that respond to the curricular offerings of the program. 

The Center for English for Specific Purposes (CESP) Collection is a collection of books on the teaching of the English language while the Local Oral History collection is comprised of audio tapes, videotapes, and transcripts.

Some special items are encased in display cases at the 13th floor

The Special Collections are collections donated or deposited by some members of the DLSU faculty and friends of the Library. Except for the CESP and Calderon collections, all materials are generally for room use only.  These collections have their own unique characteristics and content, as they are based on the donors’ expertise. Efren R. Abueg, for instance, is known as a short story writer and a former faculty of the Filipino Language Department.  His collection covers books in humanities and social sciences. His original manuscripts and the extant copies of his early short stories and novels from the core collection of his personal papers are also included in his collection.  Br. Andrew Gonzalez, Collection is mostly in the field of linguistics.   The Dr. Cirilo Bautista Collection is mainly on literature.   The Teresa Bitanga Valeros Collection is mostly on health and nutrition. The Aurelio B. Calderon Collection speaks well of his scholarship and broad interests, given his 25 years of experience in DLSU. This particular collection is available for home use. Dr. Clodualdo Del Mundo’s collection features his books on film, while the Br. Rafael S. Donato, FSC Collection consists of books in the field of education.  The Marcelino A. Foronda’s collection includes local and oral history materials and his personal papers.  Isagani R. Cruz donated volumes of books in the field of literature, and manuscripts of his published and unpublished works that spanned more than three decades and formed the backbone of his personal papers.  Alfredo Elfren Litiatco, regarded as one of the best pre-war writers, donated his rich collection of English literature.   Francisco Ortigas, Jr. donated his personal library and 157 manuscript boxes of his personal papers as, well as his tektite collection and other mementos.  Emerita S. Quito’s collection is comprised of books, periodicals, unpublished works, and other materials that are mostly related to philosophy. Her collection include 18 artworks done by Filipino masters.  The Jose Javier Reyes Collection consists of volumes of film scripts while Dr. Robert Salazar’s Collection delved more into the field of sociology and anthropology.  The Dr. Zeus Salazar Collection has books on history, sociology, anthropology, European studies, and personal papers.   The Bienvenido N. Santos Collection is mostly in the field of language and literature. The Dr. Renato Agustin Q. Sibayan Collection mainly holds books and journals on neuro-surgery and neurology. Agustin “Hammy” Sott’s collection features books, journals, and magazines on varied subjects.   The Lorenzo M. Tañada Collection is from his personal library and offers 11 manuscript boxes of his personal papers. Part of the Tañada collection is a motley of mementos such as pictures, diplomas, plaques, medals, awards, and certificates, scrapbooks of clippings, and many other memorabilia. The Julio C. Teehankee’s Collection consists of books, journals, personal papers, and manuscripts. His collection is mostly in the field of political science.  Dr. Tereso S. Tullao’s Collection is on economics.  The collection of Dr. Wilfrido Villacorta and Remigio Agpalo is also in the field of political science.  The Collection of Lou Cordero-Krainz is mostly comprised of books on religion and arts, while the collection of Ms. Nina Patawaran mainly features juvenile literature.

Some indoor reading areas have modular cozy couches

A look inside one of the many discussion rooms
in the Learning Commons
In a tree, a nest is a place of refuge to hold the birds’ eggs or to provide a place to live or raise their offsprings.  In the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall, the Nests are the indoor reading areas, spacious lounges, multi-purpose conference rooms, meeting rooms, quiet rooms, and discussion rooms.  As the repository of human knowledge, it is the aim of the Learning Commons to serve as the central node for a revitalized campus; thus, these Nests serve as a place where the academic community can gather to relax, interact, and even hold official university activities. 

The conference room at the 8th Floor
There are multipurpose/conference rooms on the 7th and 8th floors averaging to an area of 65.5 sq. m. with a seating capacity of 20 to 25. A bigger multipurpose room is found on the 13th floor which is 121.6 sq.m. and can accommodate 90 to 100 people.  For every floor, that is, from the 8th to the 12th floors, there are eight discussion rooms with an average area of 5 to 6 sq. m. and with a seating capacity of 4 to 8. The 7th floor has 6 discussion rooms with seating capacity of six each.

The multipurpose room in the European Documentation Center (EDC)
at the 13th Floor
Dedicated reading areas for graduate students are located on the 10th and 12th floors, with a floor area of 56 sq. m. which can accommodate 12 readers in one seating.  Quiet rooms are located on the 8th, 10th, and 12th floors.  These rooms are intended for library patrons who enjoy the typical library’s quiet atmosphere.  The total area is 56 sq. m. and it can hold up to 28 readers.  Two (2) viewing rooms are located on the 7th floor for private viewing of educational films. Television units and headphones are provided in these rooms. An audio-visual room, sized 82.6 sq.m., has teleconferencing capability and a seating capacity of 53 people, is located on the 13th floor. 

An inside look at the Faculty Reading Room (8th Floor)

The Learning Commons holds a number of indoor reading areas and comfortable lounges.  The estimated total seating capacity of these areas is 2,000.
The Chill @ the 5th (Bean Bag Area) at the 5th Floor. It is accessible by going down the stairs
from the main lobby

Summerwood and Springwood
Summerwood and Springwood are the indoor gardens and outdoor reading areas in the Learning Commons.  These are meant to be a place for students to study. The area is designed to be peaceful and stress-free so students can concentrate more on their studies.  These areas are located on the 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 11th floors.

The Future Begins Here
Given the amenities and space at the Henry Sy Sr. Hall, the Learning Commons hopes to achieve its mission to support the institution’s instructional, curricular, research, and extension programs through the organized, relevant, and efficient delivery of information services.  With the innovation in terms of facilities and interior to match the ever growing books and resources, the Learning Commons is optimistic that it will contribute to expanding the creative and new ideas from its patrons and help them engage in a life-long learning journey.  Let the future begin here.