BHP Billiton invests to upgrade BPCC library

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Brenda Brantley, Dean of Learning Resources at Bossier Parish Community College, leads a tour of the library with officials from BHP Billiton, who just made a $300,000 investment into a new Learning Commons at the college.

Bossier Parish Community College has received a three-year investment from BHP Billiton for the reconfiguration and development of a more functional and technology-friendly Library/Learning Center.

BPCCThe $300,000 investment into a new Library Commons launches an immediate plan to increase student access to an enhanced technology-based learning environment, to reduce flow of increased traffic through the library’s “quiet zone” study area, to increase the number of computer available to students and to ultimately increase student retention and the college’s graduation rates.

BPCC Chancellor Jim Henderson said the “welcoming, technologically advanced BPCC Learning Commons will dramatically enhance the student learning experience” on campus.

“We could not be more appreciative of BHP Billiton’s investment in the success of our students,” Henderson said. “As we continue to create and grow programs aligned with the needs of employers in this regional economy, investments from world-class companies like BHP Billiton will ensure we produce world-class graduates.”

A look at plans for the new Learning Commons coming to Bossier Parish Community College.
A look at plans for the new Learning Commons coming to Bossier Parish Community College.

Transforming the current lab (a computer-based tutorial lab that serves approximately 640 BPCC students per day) into a Learning Commons will not only offer students a dramatic increase to a technology-based learning environment, but will ultimately expand opportunities for students to be successful.

The Library/Learning Commons calls for a redesigned first and second floor space to better accommodate 21st century students’ needs. Within the venue, technology becomes the focal point of the first floor with access to updated computers and wireless networking.

A new, state-of-the-art scan and print station will provide for all printing, copying, scanning and faxing services. Comfortable, flexible seating arrangements and booths will promote collaborative student study environments.

The second floor will be reserved for a quiet, private study space for students. Computers and kiosks positioned among the shelving will allow for more intensive research.

The second floor design also extends and expands the existing Learning Center, where an increased number of study rooms and tutorial areas will accommodate a variety of learners’ needs. Dual-person computer stations will allow tutors to work privately with students on assignments.

BPCC officials say the $300,000 investment will create a positive legacy and allow the college to be a leader in a revolutionary approach to achieving student success. Geraldine Slattery, General Manager of BHP Billiton’s Production Units in the Haynesville and Fayetteville Shale, said educational attainment is a core value of the company.

“Funding the BPCC Learning Commons project aligns with our community vision and allows us to work in tandem with the state’s education system for an immediate and direct impact for this (and future) generation of students.”

BHP Billiton is the world’s leading diversified resources company. Its purpose is to create long-term shareholder value through the discovery, acquisition, development and marketing of natural resources. BHP Billiton, which is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, is among the largest producers of iron ore, oil and gas, coal and copper.