May 20, 2022

U. of Pennsylvania May Leave More of DRL Library Intact After Student Dissent

From The Daily Pennsylvanian:

Less of the Math-Physics-Astronomy Library may be repurposed following outcry from mathematics students and faculty.

Members of the math department are speaking out against the conversion of part of the library in David Rittenhouse Laboratory into an active learning classroom. The construction in DRL is scheduled to begin this summer, and the Towne Building’s Engineering Library will close entirely after this semester.


[Dean of the College Dennis] DeTurck said that the administration wants to balance the interests of graduate students with “faculty momentum” toward active learning pedagogy. Under the new plan, only 20 percent of the library would be remodeled and all mathematics texts could remain within the room. The plan has not yet been proposed to students.


There are alternatives to repurposing part of the Math-Physics-Astronomy Library, including building the active learning classroom on DRL’s ground floor where there are currently auditorium-style classrooms.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.