By Erika Norton | Echo
When junior Evan Koons walked into the Zondervan Library for the first time this year, he didn't expect to see all of the changes that were made this summer.
"It seems more open now . . . more user-friendly and that they're using the space in a more efficient manner," Koons said. "The convenience is nice."
One of the most significant changes made to the library this summer was the relocation of the Educational Technology Center (ETC) from the Reade Center to the main level of the li brary. This area is now called the Technology & Learning Connection (T&LC) and provides all of the audio, video and camera equipment and technology previously available for checkout at the ETC.
The T&LC will also continue to provide the services the ETC provided, including media duplication, scanning, high-quality prints and posters, lamination and video editing. According to University Librarian Dan Bowell, the reason for the move grew out of discussions to make space in Reade but evolved into a way to provide a centralized area for technology and resources.
Senior Leah Knibbe, who has worked at the library since her freshman year, thinks the T&LC will be helpful for students overall.
"It's going to be quite the adjustment, but it's nice that for anything that you check out from the T&LC, we now do that at the desk," Knibbe said. "Hopefully it's going to streamline everything and just make it easier for people to go to one location to get the resources that they need."
An important improvement the T&LC provide s is that there are 20 more computers than previously available in the library, most of which are from the ETC. The amount of laptop computers available for checkout has grown to about 20, and ten iPads are available.
Other relocations include the Academic Enrichment Center (AEC) and the Writing Center, now near the first-floor study rooms. Bowell said that despite the shuffling there's been an effort to avoid losing group study spaces.
"We got rid of four study rooms and added seven, so a that's net gain of three, which I'm very pleased with," Bowell said. "Even with the reconfigured space, there are now more seats than before available for studying."
One of the additional rooms is downstairs in the C.S. Lewis & Friends Center, where there is a large table for more collaborative space.
Another major change for the library-and for students and faculty-is the implementation of the WorldCat Research Station, a new library system that searches Taylor's shelves and beyond. Students can now browse through not only books but also DVDs, articles and other online resources.
"It does a lot of new things behind the scenes, because it will pr ovide access to many more thousands of journals," Bowell said.
Knibbe, along with the other library staff, have all had to learn and adjust to the new system.
"On the other side of the desk, we're learning just as much as the people on the outside who aren't used to the changes," Knibbe said. "It is a good system and hopefully that also will make researching and finding books and movies a lot easier."
To heighten awareness of all the changes, the library hosted an open house on Thursday to allow faculty and students the opportunity to see the new layout.
Bowell believes that all of these changes are steps in the right direction for the library. He hopes the library will continue to be a place where faculty and students make discoveries, learn and even do that in new ways with each other, with spaces formerly devoted to warehousing print resources or bound journals now being used as collaborative spaces.
"The Zondervan Library will have books on shelves for quite a long time, but that's not where the future action will be for libraries or librarians," Bowell said. "It will be in working with people, connecting people with i nformation resources, helping to discover and to critique information resources."