The Benefit of the Modern College Library

A post by Dr. Kristen Willmott

Univeristy-Library-InteriorSome of the packages we offer include a personalized summer reading list for our students. As we work to craft these for parents and students, we are focused on reading, books, and libraries this week! Also, we know many families are planning their college visit trips, and we want to remind you to check out the college library, both online and in person.

Dr. Yu Zhang, Assistant Professor at Loyola Maryland wrote a great article on college libraries last month for U.S. News and World Report. She states 4 key reasons to check out the campus library and we agree: it’s your future study space; it’s a potential source of academic support; it may offer work-study and scholarship possibilities; and it’s a source of community information.

As I wrote about in my co-authored chapter in the book Leadership in Academic Libraries Today: Connecting Theory to Practice published this spring, what’s REALLY neat about college libraries is that they are now technological, integrative, innovative spaces for college students to learn, engage, and interact. Here are 3 neat examples:

UNC LibraryNorth Carolina State’s high-tech James B. Hunt Library has books, but they’re not visible when you walk into the building on the campus. Instead, the 1.5 million books are retrievable by robots. Check out their terrific video of the process.

Jakarta LIbrary The University of Indonesia’s Central Library in Jakarta has sustainable green roofs and a view of the lake. The stacks are 5 stories and students can utilize exhibition spaces, study spaces, and a library food court.

MIT LibraryThe Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) libraries offer access to DSpace@MIT, a digital repository that contains nearly 50,000 items, including MIT theses and the digital works of 62 communities representing groups of MIT faculty and researchers, labs, and centers. That’s a lot of interaction and technology for students to access and utilize!

So, which college libraries are your favorite? Which library offerings and spaces are most intriguing to you? Post a comment on this blog and let us know!

4 Comments

  1. Jill Gunn

    Posted on May 21, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Michele and Mimi,
    You are so right! One of the things Delaney loves most about William & Mary is Swem Library. It is a beautiful, healthy environment to which the students are drawn both academically and socially, the staff is exceptionally supportive and responsive to their needs, and the special collections department is home to one of the most incredible collections in nation – including, most recently the papers of Chief Justice Warren Berger and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

    • Kim

      Posted on May 21, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks so much for your note Jill.

      How wonderful that Delaney is taking advantage of one of William and Mary’s rich resources.

  2. Kiana Nouri

    Posted on May 21, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    I have personally used the MIT digital library. It is better than google and it is a repository of knowledge. The thesis of students at MIT has been source of my free time reading and has been more interesting than reading Dan Brown’s novels! Happy reading!

    • Kim

      Posted on May 21, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      GREAT idea Kiana to tap into the genius of past students via the thesis library!!

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