Learning Commons

The Library offers three Learning Commons spaces: Geisel East (2nd Floor), Geisel West (2nd Floor), and BLB (1st Floor). These areas are intended to enhance the educational achievement and personal growth of UC San Diego students. All offer a variety of amenities, including computers, software, competent help and support, educational services, collaboration areas, and comfortable seating. By providing a pleasant and well-equipped spaces in which to study, think, develop new ideas, collaborate with others, or just rest, read a good book, or surf the net, Learning Commons foster student creativity and discovery.


Geisel East Learning Commons


This area focuses on undergraduates and houses nearly 100 computers (PCs). It is an active, collaborative learning area. Learning Spaces Peer Consultants are available at the service desk to assist with general and technology-related questions. The space also offers scanners, copiers, printers, group study rooms, tables and comfortable seating, games, and a child-friendly group study room for student parents accompanied by young children. During applicable overnight hours, this area serves as the Overnight Study Commons.  Different policies may apply during these hours. 


Geisel West Learning Commons


This area focuses more on upper-level undergraduates and grad students, and houses nearly 60 computers (PCs). This space tends to be quieter than the east side and accommodates individual study and quiet reading. Staff at the Research Assistance Desk located here can assist with entry level and advanced research questions. The space offers copiers, printers, tables and comfortable seating, and the Data & GIS Lab. Government documents, reference materials, current journals and newspapers, maps, microforms, popular science books, and new books are also housed here.


BLB Learning Commons


This area houses roughly 100 computers (PC & Mac), and is an active, collaborative learning area. Learning Spaces Peer Consultants are available at the service desk to assist with general and technology-related questions. The space also offers a general purpose scanner and high-resolution scanner (in multimedia room), copiers, printers, tables and comfortable seating, application-specific manuals, and nearby group study rooms. A presentation practice room with a digital projector and a small multimedia room for creating everything from simple images to complex sound and videos are also located here.


Getting Help


Walk-up assistance is available at the service desks in each Commons during posted hours. Alternately, you can call the service desk or use the Ask a Librarian service.

Peer Consultants and other Commons staff provide the following services to help users solve problems and maximize their time in the Commons:

  • Support user access to and use of Library technology, content, and services.
  • Ensure hardware and software are operative and available.
  • Liaise with IT & ACS staff to prevent and fix problems.
  • Answer questions from Commons users.
  • Support users in finding the information they need.
  • Help users with software and printers.

Commons Policies


  • The Library’s Use & Conduct Policies apply to all library spaces.
  • With the exception of a few computers allowing guest login in Geisel West and some InfoStations in Geisel East (and elsewhere in the library), all Commons computers require valid Active Directory (AD) accounts and passwords.
  • Don’t be away from your workstation for more than 15 minutes.
  • Never leave laptops or personal belongings unattended for ANY length of time.
  • Use your own storage media; files are not kept on the computers after the nightly reset.
  • You must have basic knowledge of computer usage.
  • Never shut down the computers.
  • Do not load any software on a Commons computer.
  • Set cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices to silent or vibrate mode and take/make phone calls outside the building.
  • Snack food and covered beverages are permitted in library, but hot food and meals aren’t. Do not eat or drink directly above the computer keyboards or near book shelves and library materials. Report spills to staff right away. See the Library’s Food & Drink policy for details.
  • Talking in a normal tone of voice is permitted.

Comments or Questions?


Send questions, comments, and suggestions to LearningSpaces@ucsd.edu.


Last revised: K. Goodson, 11/25/13