The Cathey Learning Center combines the stately reading rooms of the former Harper Library into a renewed space for both individual and collaborative learning. The Main Reading Room is designated for quiet, individual study, while the North Reading Room, with its multiple cubicles and open-seating plan, is ideally suited for group work. The Center also houses the Common Knowledge Café, the recently renovated Harper West Information Technology classrooms, as well as a 10-terminal USITE station and a Canon Unified Printing station. The total area of these contiguous spaces approaches 30,000 square feet.
The North Reading Room hosts the College Core Tutor Program and Writing Tutors on Sunday through Thursday evenings, from 7 PM to 11 PM.
Since opening in Autumn quarter 2009 as the Harper Memorial Library Commons, the space has quickly grown into a dynamic hub of College intellectual and social life. The various environments enable students to transition easily from individual work to formal and informal study groups, attend writing workshops, get help from a tutor, or meet friends and faculty at the Café. On June 1, 2012, the Harper Commons was rededicated to honor the bequest of Arley D. Cathey.
During the academic quarter, the Center remains open round-the-clock from Sunday mornings through Friday afternoons; it is also open on Saturdays from 8 AM to 8 PM.