The Research Commons was developed as part of the national Research Libraries Consortium (RLC) Project funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. This project aims to contribute to the development of dedicated facilities, shared technologies and well trained librarians to increase library support for researchers at the beneficiary institutions. This Project has three core components, which are considered significant and important for the development of researchers in South Africa:
- The design and location of a Research Commons in each of the libraries
- The development of a corps of librarians who are equipped with the appropriate understanding and skills for in support of the needs of postgraduates and researchers
- A collaborative initiative to develop and jointly manage a web-based research portal
The Research Commons is a dedicated advanced space for fully registered Masters, PhD postgraduates, Postdoctoral Scholars well as UP Staff.
It combines research and social space that contributes to social dialogue, scholarly exchange and intellectual development. This facility enhances the Library’s commitment to supporting postgraduates, academics and researchers in their research endeavours and contributing to the University’s research output. The space includes work stations, study carrels, seminar and group discussion rooms equipped with top-end PCs, WiFi connectivity, printers and copiers. A separate lounge area provides for relaxation.
Two distinguishing features of the Research Commons are the collection of art works and views of the University campus. On the eastern side, the Research Commons is on the same level as the crowns of Acacias; the relaxation area looks out on the jacaranda trees between Merensky I and the Old Arts Building. On the northern side, the Old Chemistry Building's rose garden can be seen next to the graffiti wall.