Alden Library’s second floor Learning Commons offers a range of study environments, including various seating options and private work areas that are available to students.
Room 251, an instruction lab on the Library’s second floor, is currently being updated with technology and new seating to accommodate the various needs of faculty and students, who use the room for class instruction and a variety of other educational purposes.
New additions to room 251 will increase the number of students who can use the room at one time from 29 to 42.
These updates include: six pod units, each equipped with seven seats and a 48-inch wall-mounted monitor that will be connected to AirMedia technology, a wireless system that allows users to control its pod monitor and share content from laptops, smartphones and a variety of other mobile devices; and 25 new laptops.
In addition, there will be two new 55-inch LED monitors at the front of the room for displaying content that can be projected from the instructor’s station, ultimately improving visibility all over the room.
According to Dr. Chris Guder, reference and instruction librarian, the goal for redesigning the room stems from the desire to expand the technological capabilities for the librarians and instructors who utilize the classroom.
“The hope is that with the new types of technology available in the room librarians will be able to experiment with, and offer alternative forms of, instruction to the classes being taught in Alden,” said Guder.
The updates and additions to room 251 are the result of a survey that was administered to librarians who teach library instruction, requesting feedback regarding the lab’s previous layout.
“In particular we wanted to know what changes the instructors/librarians would like to see made,” said Guder. “Some common themes that emerged from the survey included the ability to have more students using the room at one time, a new table configuration that would allow students to more effectively work in groups, better visibility, and a different style of projection system.”
Guder said the newly designed lab, which was previously more suitable for lecture-based courses, is expected to increase options for student collaboration and “expand the instructor’s toolbox with regard to the possibilities of in-class activities.”
In addition, the room will now have technology capable of wirelessly transmitting an instructor’s voice through the room for patrons who are hearing impaired.
“This technology comes from a company called Williams Sound, and will include a multi-channel infrared emitter, five under chin-style receivers, and five charging stations,” said Guder.
Please stay tuned to learn more as the Libraries continues to evolve and enhance the educational environment for the students, faculty, researchers and patrons that access the Libraries’ each day.