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American Today

On Campus

If the Students Went Away and No One Spoke, Is the Library Still a Library? 

People ask if in summer the sound of silence is the sound of Bender Library. Nothing could be further from the truth. Summer leaves time for visitors to check out popular fiction and nonfiction books or spend a lunch hour consulting the first-floor collection of travel books. Materials detailing the origins of the Peace Corps are on exhibit, and staff are preparing an exhibit on games and gaming.

But most of all, summer is special projects and renovation time. 

Special Projects 

At the top of summer 2011’s task list is welcoming and integrating some personnel from the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning (CTRL). On May 10, Provost Scott Bass announced that several academic technology services, formerly part of CTRL, will become part of the library. These include: 

  • Audio and Visual Systems and Services will remain in its current Anderson Computing Complex location but be under library management. 
  • BlackBoard and Wimba support will transfer to the research and instructional division of the library. 
  • The New Media Center and Academic Media Services (iTunes) will join the library’s Media Services unit enhancing existing library services that include the Digital Media Studio. 


Also on the “to do” list is a continuation of renovations begun in 2008. 

  • New furniture will replace some heavily-used pieces throughout the building, particularly on the second floor. 
  • Upgraded electrical systems and many newly installed electrical outlets will accommodate student requests for more places to plug in laptops. This upgrade will “help the library go a long way toward meeting the goal of having an outlet for every student,” said university librarian Bill Mayer. 
  • Workhorse printers have been replaced on the library first floor. 
  • The library’s collection of circulating laptops will be upgraded. 
  • Media Services received new flat screen TVs and will expand the availability of streaming video to campus. 
  • The research and instruction division will update existing and create new online tutorials that assist students with research. 
  • With the Center for Latin American Studies, library Archives and Special Collections will digitize photos from South America and Antartica in Professor Jack Child’s personal collection. 
  • Music Library staff have begun digitizing more than 2,000 sheet music items that pre-date 1920—some from the famous Tin Pan Alley. 
  • Information Delivery Services (IDS) has begun to catalog some 3,000 books in the Visual Resources Center located in the Katzen Arts Center. Once digitized, these art books will be discoverable in the ALADIN Catalog.