No, the library will not be acquiring a cat, but there’s plenty of other things to be excited about this year in the DeWitt Learning Commons. From new layout changes to resources you might not have known about before, the Learning Commons is ready to help students in any way they can this year.
The most visible change is that the former research help desk has been turned into a new study area. Instead of being found at a regularly-staffed help desk, research assistance can now be set up through an online appointment page.
Library director Greta Grond believes this will make it simpler and more direct for students and will be a more efficient use of time. She is also happy about other steps the library is taking to put better resources in students’ hands, one of which is combating modern problems of fake news by purchasing campus-wide subscriptions to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
“We’re trying to make a concerted effort to make sure we’re providing quality resources,” Grond said.
Though they have different political bends, both newspapers are reliable organizations that she hopes people will make use of.
“We’re hoping to get people that opportunity to stay up with the news in a fashion that feels a little more vetted than some things we might see.”
Grond also hopes that the students will get to know everything else that’s available for their use, beyond books and newspapers. At the circulation desk, students can check out Kindles, iPads, phone chargers and even laptops for short periods of time, and that’s not all.
“We have a whiteboard if you’re giving a presentation somewhere, projectors if you just want to set up a movie night in the lounge. We have all that stuff, and I don’t know if students always know about that.”
All of this is there for student use, and since it is for the students, Grond is open to hear what else the students would want to use.
“I’ve wondered, would students use a GoPro if I bought it?…Maybe that’s something that would be fun for the library to have that people can test out.”
Other adjustments are being made to seating in study areas and bike check-outs.
“We’ve noticed that soft seating doesn’t seem to be as popular as table seating, so we’re trying to get more tables brought in,” Grond said.
Bike check-outs are now for a three-hour period instead of the whole day to ensure bikes come back on time and employees do not have to worry about putting bikes back late at night.
The library thrives off students making use of its resources and letting staff know how the library can help students thrive.
“If they have questions or things that they think the library should have, they should always ask us, and we’ll consider it,” Grond said. Consider is the key word.
“People have asked if we’re going to get a cat. We are not going to get a cat.”