PORTLAND, Maine — The University of Southern Maine is encouraging talking in the library.

Stacks of books on the second floor of the Glickman Family Library have been removed and the space has been revamped into a colorful, open area for collaborative study.

The Learning Commons includes tutors who can help with research, writing and technology.

Pods of extra-wide desks allow two people to pull up chairs. Bright yellow study rooms have large hanging monitors so groups can easily view a laptop screen.

Coordinator Paul Dexter told the Portland Press Herald that a little back-and-forth between students is encouraged.

The goal of the new space is better to connect students to resources that will help them succeed academically.

The space was renovated for $400,000.