Learning Commons and Libraries

Comprised of two facilities (for the Academy and Junior School), the K – 12 Learning Commons are an extension of every classroom and the hub of collaborative and creative energies on campus, magnifying the applied learning that helps our students to succeed.

In the K – 12 Learning Commons, students:

  • Build congruency between their experiences in school and the world;

  • Have access to the space and resources (books, technology, creative tools and people) that help them to transform their questions into work that addresses real problems and audiences;

  • Collaborate with other students and teachers from different classes, grades and disciplines;

  • Learn from outside experts and mentors who can broaden their thinking about relevant, real-world questions.

In the K – 12 Learning Commons, faculty:

  • Have a shared gathering space that facilitates partnership across grade levels and disciplines;

  • Belong to a thriving community of professional development resources and programs;

  • Work with Hawai‘i, mainland and international-based partners to explore essential questions and new approaches to education at Punahou and beyond.


Located in Cooke Library in the Academy (grades 9 – 12), the Cooke Learning Commons is a place for active and collaborative work as well as quiet individual study. Resources include the Cooke Collection of books, ebooks and research databases, as well as makery supplies, photography equipment, and more. Students can get help with research projects, makery projects, homework (in the Peer Learning Center), or making a video (in the Punavision room). Students can also engage with the Punahou community and the wider community through special events including guest artists and speakers, poetry readings, exhibits, and much more.

Junior School

The Bishop Learning Commons (BLC) in Bishop Hall is a space where junior school students can focus on individual work, collaborate with peers and faculty, foster a love of literature, access research resources, and develop into lifelong library users.

The BLC houses two library collections, the Bishop Collection (for grades 5 – 8) and the Julia Ing Collection (for Kindergarten – grade 4). The Julia Ing Collection is also distributed among spaces in Kosasa Community and Omidyar Neighborhood. Students and their families are invited to visit the library to enjoy the books and rich resources available.

The Future Junior School Learning Commons

Pending completion of the Kosasa Community (scheduled to open in fall 2019), the learning commons and library collections will move from Bishop Hall to the newly built Junior School Learning Commons facility.

Artist renderings:

Library Collections

An extensive collection of books, ebooks, audiobooks, videos and other materials, as well as research guides and databases, are available to the Punahou community through three collections, each with an online catalog.

Cooke Collection

Serving grades 9 – 12, the physical collection is part of the Cooke Learning Commons in Cooke Library. 

Cooke Resources

Bishop Collection

Serving grades 5 – 8, the physical collection is part of the Bishop Learning Commons in Bishop Hall.

Bishop Resources

Julia Ing Collection

Serving Kindergarten – grade 4, the physical collection is distributed among Bishop Learning Commons, Omidyar Neighborhood and Kosasa Community.

Julia Ing Resources

Support the Junior School Learning Commons

Construction is currently under way on the new learning commons in the Kosasa Community. Support this project now with a gift online, or contact:

Holly Paulson ’87 Sereni
Acting Director of Development