- 1 Availability of Information Resource Facilities (Standard 5.C.1)
- 2 Cooperative Agreements (Standard 5.C.2)
Availability of Information Resource Facilities (Standard 5.C.1)
The Edutech TESC Information Environment Review specifically considered networking, telecommunications and other information technology relevant to accessibility. The campus network was lauded as "solid and reliable." The network itself is described technically in Area 1 of the report. Expansion of wireless access from 75% to the entire campus was recommended; this work is proceeding and has the budgetary support to continue into the future. Most classrooms have been networked with display capability, spreading library and information technology access to large portions of the curriculum. The Edutech report also recommended establishing at least one dedicated teleconferencing space for general use, which is planned within the Center for Creative and Applied Media (CCAM). According to Eductech, "student access to computers at Evergreen does not seem to be a problem."
The Information Technology Wing
LIR Facilities and Services Visibly Interconnect
With the generic library as a foundation and the interdisciplinary curriculum as the context, merged collections and services build upon an alternative past. Library and information resources thus collaborate actively across academic and administrative departmental boundaries. The major remodel, implementing a newly consolidated Information Technology Wing, substantially strengthened opportunities for connecting services, facilities and staff. One central, broad entrance now provides access to the Library, the Computer Center, Media Loan and the stairs to Electronic Media, Photo Services and Computing and Communications.
More Teaching and Study Spaces
The ideal of collaborative learning shaped the remodel. Shared study spaces predominate, whether open area study tables, grouped lounge furniture, pod-shaped arrangements in labs or small group study and media viewing rooms. Wireless access allows informal group work around personal or library-owned laptops. Additional laboratory spaces provide easier scheduling for program work and more computers for individuals when classes do not use the labs. Limited quiet study areas provide an alternative for the solitary scholar, at the same time that small group work is facilitated and encouraged. Overall, the Information Technology Wing has shed barren hallways and utilitarian desks in favor of lounge areas and comfortable study spaces. Overstuffed couches and chairs, large tables, task lighting, and more room for collections all contribute to the spirit of conviviality that informs the work of shared inquiry.
Hospitable Spaces and Blended Access
Art exhibitions invite patrons into lounge and study areas and help define the library as a public space. The new basement lounge, affectionately dubbed the Library Underground, hosts frequent campus gatherings and public readings, although flooding (a new issue since the remodel) disrupted the area several times in 2006/7. Groups from across campus meet, study and teach in library spaces, which are open to all and where food and drink have always been allowed. The Sound and Image Library (SAIL) media collections are prominently located in the reference area, where SAIL staff work closely with the reference librarians. The newly established Assisted Technology Lab conjoins SAIL and has become a vital meeting place for students to work and show their art and media productions. Again, SAIL and reference staff provide service and technical support for ATL patrons. As the physical reference collection continues to shrink, reference, SAIL, the ATL, and Circulation will continue forming a more blended and prominent shared public presence.
More General Access Lab Facilities
Rapid developments in networked information technology have blurred between general and specialized technology labs. The main computer center includes many specialized scientific software packages such as ArcGIS and Mathematica, while common graphic manipulation software, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, appear in the CAL. Similarly, the Computer Center supports high-level statistics applications such as R as well as digital music editing. The library computers provide basic Office applications and general web access in addition to library-specific searches, but specific library computers also provide GIS, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, assistive/adaptive technology, and scanning applications while SAIL provides multiple stations for basic media dubbing, transfer and editing. Switching to a single user domain and sign-on mean simpler, more consistent access to networked resources across campus. The Digital Imaging and Multimedia facilities provide applications for advanced media production, but are open to all students. Some specialty labs have self-contained resources, such as large format printers or applications requiring more sophisticated hardware. However, the primary distinction among labs is the level of expertise and specialized knowledge of the staff. Students benefit when they know that the specialized character of a lab means there will be more skilled assistance as well.
Cooperative Agreements (Standard 5.C.2)
Despite greatly expanded information access through Summit and shared purchasing agreements, the library continues strong support for the core collection. Over time, Summit circulation data will provide specific reports on areas of the collection where students and faculty consistently or repeatedly demonstrate the need for more depth. Additionally, the Orbis Cascade consortium is working on shared collection development guidelines to help design complementary collections.