Education and research in medicine, nursing and related sciences has a long and proud tradition at Penn. A community of the caliber of these schools requires a transformed, and transformational, Biomedical Library in place of its 1960s era facility, a space that can no longer serve teaching and learning in the health sciences.

When the Library we envision is complete, it won't just be an impressive physical space—although it will be that—rather it will represent a new way of thinking, and learning. The new facility will be designed to serve all student needs, from high-speed computing to team-based learning. Its core, the medical/nursing information commons, will provide students with access to the Library's subject experts in proximity with quiet work spaces, and also a dynamic information laboratory where groups will convene to analyze medical images, amass data, and prepare clinical and research findings for class presentation or publication.

Our vision for this Library is dictated by the rapid and dramatic changes Penn has instituted in health sciences education. Students in medicine, nursing, and biological studies have sophisticated information needs and the broadest range of study and learning requirements of any population at the University. To meet their demand, Penn has created a library on the Internet which delivers the most advanced life sciences databases and research literature wherever students need information. But Penn is also reinventing library spaces to support today's team-based education model and make possible the learning environments that aspiring doctors, nurses, and scientists both need and require of a top medical school. The concept of an information commons locates in a single space research help, computer applications, media technology, and a variety of study facilities, all designed to strengthen the community dimensions of learning; to foster student-to-student engagement as a means of advancing learning.