Archive for January, 2012

The Community College – According to the President has value..

We need our community college libraries to work within, across and beyond their boundaries. We need academic libraries to widen access to scholarly work whenever possible. Despite the lack of funding for libraries in the past, users are becoming more and more likely to use the library to retrain and retool themselves. The State of the Union offered an example of how the country can upgrade its knowledge by investing in community colleges. The President stated, “We need to promote new skills and better education so that all Americans are prepared to compete in a global economy. That’s why, tonight, I call for a new partnership between community colleges and businesses to help train and place 2 million skilled workers.”

We are working on a couple academic library projects including the Coulter Library at Onondaga Community College. It can be retooled and upgraded with a simple plan to improve building use, function and flow. The investments will enable content to flow to the students within, across and beyond the library’s boundaries.

In America Built to Last, the government can improve the lives of younger people by creating community college partnerships. The president cites a goal to retain 2 million people through the community college system. This concept tracks with our own research, indicating that learning environments will help students succeed in building skills for the 21st century.

In other words,academic library’s matter. The physical space will to support the overall goals of the institution to bring student success by offering enhanced research environments. This can be measured by investments in library buildings and the research that results from collaboration.

Student Learning Space

Student Learning Space

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academic library space get ready – apple is getting into e-textbooks – rise of the new groupthink

The academic textbook market has been resisting the change from print to digital for a long time. Apple has been moving toward a model for textbooks that may change the playing field. It confirmed a e-textbook publishing event that could start to get traction now that there is a digital publishing model for music and books.

From a librarians perspective, Apple’s textbooks business venture will further enhance the library as a collaborative and individual space. Students of the future will use their e-reader textbook along with a variety of traditional formats for learning. The e-textbook will free up space for storage, but it will also enable new kinds of sharing not seen today, but on the horizon for tomorrow.

In “the Rise of the New Groupthink,” Susan Kane explores the need for solitude in the creative process. From a librarians perspective, the library will not vanish once we have e-textbooks. No, “concentrating the mind on the tasks in hand, and preventing the dissipation of energy on unrelated tasks” is required regardless of the tools you use. The library has a strong role to play for anyone who needs to expand their knowledge and create a world that is honest, strong and supportive.

quiet space for learning

quiet space for learning

quiet space in the library

quiet space in the library

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The Joy of Quiet in the Library

The library environment can be many things to many people. In 2012, it will be important to off-set the number of active and collaborative spaces with the number of individual spaces for contemplation and quiet.

The “library as place” has a special role to play in our social environment. The amount of communication available can be overwhelming; the average teenager sends or receives 75 text messages a day. The average office worker today enjoys less than three minutes at a time at his or her desk without interruption. The paradox is that we can communicate anywhere anytime.

The library of the future needs to provide spaces for reflection and quiet time something very important for “student success” and learning. The functionality of the library building should always include space to turn-off the communication tools and focus or concentrate. According to “the joy of quiet” – NYTimes Sunday, Jan 1, 2012 – the number of hours American adults spent online doubled between 2005 and 2009 (and the number of hours spent in front of a TV screen, often simultaneously, is also steady increasing). To off-set the constant barrage of information, libraries should be planned with quiet environments. This is not a new idea, but something to consider in the new year.

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