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Watzek Library Student Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, December 2, 2008

noon-1 pm in Gray (Templeton)

Student Attendees: Mari Aroxa, Grace Gifford, Monique Halgat, Jesse Heiman, Caitlyn Homer, Maya Seidel, Andrew, Shaw-Kitch, Sage Coe Smith

Staff Attendees: Jenny Bornstein, Jim Kopp, Rick Peterson, Kate Rubick (recorder)

Introductions & New Members

Three new, first-year members attended this month’s meeting. Welcome Grace, Caitlyn, and Maya! And thanks to all eight student members who attended during such a busy time of year. In addition, it should be noted that Andrew is graduating at the end of this term, so this was his last meeting with the SAC. Congratulations Andrew! Many thanks for your involvement and dedicated participation with the Watzek SAC—we will miss you.

Meetings Next Term

We may need to switch to a different meeting time as Tuesdays at noon present conflicts for some members. Kate will email a list of proposed times and see if we can find a time when all members can attend. So at this time, we do not have a meeting scheduled for the spring term.

Collaborative Furniture Discussion (continued)

Kate distributed the compiled responses to the Group Learning Space Questionnaire to jumpstart continued discussion of collaborative learning space(s) and furnishings in the library. With input from the SAC and the students who responded to the questionnaire, the Collaborative Furniture Task Force has identified 3 spaces in the library to refurnish. Each was discussed:

  • The third-floor conference room
    This room is badly in need of new seating and has been identified as a space where students feel comfortable doing group work. New table(s), white boards, and comfortable chairs will enhance this space. It is also possible that a flat screen monitor will be installed in this room.
  • The library classroom (Library room 245)
    The proposal is to create two group study areas with flexible/configurable conference tables, comfortable chairs, white boards/room dividers, and (possibly) 2 flat screen monitors on either end of the room. The classroom would be open for student use during evening hours and weekends. Librarians and IT staff use it for teaching during business hours.
  • The area behind the new books display on the 2nd floor
    In this area, the goal would be to create an inviting space for reading and quiet conversation, with couches and upholstered chairs, coffee tables and lamps. This space has lovely views from the windows and is a very prominent space in the library.

Comments about this plan were largely supportive, but concern was raised about whether students would actually use the classroom for group work, particularly if it would be realistic for two groups to use it at the same time. This led into a discussion of existing group study space. Students felt that having the ability to reserve study rooms would be very helpful. They complained that sometimes individuals or groups take over study rooms for large spans of time. They feared this would also happen in any new spaces we designate for this purpose. 2 hours was suggested as a reasonable time limit for use of study rooms or group space.

They also said that they wondered if students would actually want to use the library for technological work, such as practicing PowerPoint presentations. Most students use classrooms on campus for this type of work. Contrary to what library staff thought, these classrooms are available on weekends if students call campus safety to have them unlocked. But a place to watch a movie, with truly comfortable seating was mentioned as something that would be nice.

But spaces to spread out and work, either in groups or alone, are very much needed. A typical group size is three-four people for upper class students and as large as six for first-year students. Round tables were mentioned as being especially conducive group work and flexible as far as group size. Jim reminded us that the budget for next year has not yet been approved. So while we do have funding in place for some of the furnishings and equipment, we may not get funding for some other things, like sound baffling and flat screen monitors. Other requests included a mini fridge for the 1st floor student lounge and a hot and cold water dispenser for that lounge and/or for some location on the third floor. Safety of personal possessions in the library was also discussed and it was suggested that the library might have laptops locks available for check out.

Reports

Monique reported that the General Education Task Force has received a report prepared by the Library Ed Tech Committee to change the language benchmarks for information literacy in a liberal arts education. Previously, there has been an information literacy requirement that was contained in the General Education section of the college catalog. But there was no real way of measuring or assessing it, so it was not working. The Library Ed Tech committee came up with language that would take the requirement out of Gen Ed and move it higher in the catalog document to become part of the definition of a liberal arts education. Thus far, the change has been received favorably. The Curriculum Committee will be the next group to look at this change.

Rick described the changes to the Summit catalog, which went into affect on Monday. All items checked out under the old Summit will have a final due date of December 12 (no renewals). Items checked out in the new system will be due 6 weeks from the check-out date with no renewals. Wait time for Summit requests will, for the time being, be 3 or 4 days.

Jenny reported that Watzek Rocks will be Thursday, January 22, likely from 6-8pm. 2-3 campus bands will perform (including a band Andrew Shaw-Kitch is in called Trapped in the Submarine Thought Closet). One outside band may also perform. There will be giveaway temporary tattoos to publicize the event. Please come and support our own recent grad, Andrew, and see the library in a whole different light!

Group Photo

Was taken and will be posted soon!