If you find you learn better when studying and working with others, you are not alone. One of the exciting newer trends in higher education is emphasis on collaborative learning which encourages studying and doing research in group settings. For libraries, this means hosting learning environments, including both quiet and group activity spaces, meeting a variety of educational needs.
To improve our group study capabilities, the staff of the Trecker Library spent the spring and summer planning, ordering and finally implementing advanced group study equipment and furnishings. Two developments are especially noteworthy:
Media:scapes. Two workstations offer state-of-the art technology for library clients with wireless laptops. Six people can separately connect the VGA video ports on computers to the Media:scape and one laptop image at a time will appear on a 42″ color monitor. Each person has a switching device so the laptop images can be quickly rotated as work progresses. Check the video from the Media:scape people at this link for more information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRATg7gJgMo
Media Room. Anyone who has watched videos at the library in the past knows about the 3 chair Video Viewing Room. It houses a 20″ CRT television and is on the third floor adjacent to rooms once holding the video collections. Recently, a new Media Room was constructed on the Library’s main floor and the video collections were moved nearby. The new room, which can be used as a group study space when videos are not being watched, contains a 46″ HDTV serving as either a computer or video monitor. Fourteen headphones, some wired and some wireless, are available for group use. The old Video Viewing Room still exists but individuals are welcome to watch videos in the Media Room as well.
Important Note: Media:scape users, and those intending to hook a laptop to the monitor in the Media Room, should visit ahead of time to be sure that they have the correct cable for the linkage to occur.
Bill Uricchio — Library Director