Paul J. Gutman Library Holds Open House for Learning Instruction Space

Philadelphia University’s Paul J. Gutman Library held an open house for the new, state-of-the-art Learning Instruction Space (LIS) on Oct. 18. Located on the main floor of the Gutman Library, the space was made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act grant.

From the instructor’s podium in the space, Karen Albert, director of the Gutman Library, welcomed attendees. “This room is unique and is reflective of library services which strongly support the University’s Strategic Initiatives to promote information literacy and signature learning, to develop innovative, 21st-century facilities, and to provide greater learning opportunities for graduate and professional students.”

The LIS is intended for educational sessions that support the Information Literacy (IL) mission of the Library and University, to enhance student research, academic outcomes and life-long learning skills. The area is designed to promote the signature learning principles of active learning and collaboration through hands-on class participation. The LIS can also be used for faculty and staff development sessions on library resources, services and related topics.

Connie Cardillo, grants and contracting manager of Library Development/Library Improvement with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, was on hand for the event, as were faculty, staff and honored guests, Mary Bert Gutman, wife of Trustee Alvin P. Gutman, and Dr. D. Walter Cohen, University Trustee. The Gutmans’ generosity was instrumental in the library’s construction. It opened in 1992 and is named for their late son, Paul J. Gutman.

Provost Randy Swearer addressed the group and thanked the Gutmans for their philanthropy. He emphasized the teamwork and entrepreneurial efforts on behalf of enhancing the resources of the Library through the addition of the LIS. “Faculty are committed to curricular and co-curricular activities that add value to academic programs,” Swearer stated. “This space will contribute greatly to the learning process for our students.”

Two interior design students worked with Lisa Phillips, assistant professor in the interior design program, on the space design, including the chairs and fabric for seat coverings. The students graduated in May 2010.

Michael Cabus, systems librarian, conducted a tutorial on the technological features available in the space, which includes 19 student laptops, one instructor laptop and a SMARTboard. The SMARTboard serves as a large-screen projection monitor, with color-marker annotation, touch-screen functionality and whiteboard capabilities for collaborative and interactive learning activities. For more information about the new LIS, please visit

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