Dean's Message, Spring 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Welcome to KU Libraries!

If you have visited Watson Library this spring, you may have noticed changes to the physical spaces there. Those external changes illustrate our commitment to making the libraries more inviting and useful to the researchers we serve.

Perhaps the biggest change is the opening of the Center for Digital Scholarship (CDS) and the Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis (CRMDA) at their new homes on Watson’s fourth floor. Both centers will offer services and consultation for researchers in a variety of fields. A primary goal of the CDS is to help researchers design and publish digital research and produce unique digital content in the arts, humanities and sciences. The CRMDA will focus on the needs of social and behavioral scientists, helping faculty, staff and students who need support for their program of research.

The new space is the result of an ongoing collaboration between KU Libraries and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, a partnership that highlights the library’s role as the physical and intellectual commons on our campus. Libraries and librarians have a unique ability support and advance research, teaching and learning in higher education, and the efforts taking place on Watson 4 are a prime example.

Over at Anschutz, KU Libraries is shaping an already popular study space into a hub of social and intellectual collaboration to provide what undergraduates need to excel academically and feel connected socially to KU.  The proposed Learning Studio is an integrated and student-friendly service environment in Anschutz Library dedicated to innovative learning opportunities and spaces.

The Libraries partnered with several academic elements campus wide, including Student Success and IT to collaborate on the diverse learning opportunities. Space in Anschutz Library has already been made available and architects are currently working on designs. Phase one of the Learning Studio will be open to students in the fall of 2010. The studio will feature versatile work areas suited for both solo and group study. Comfortable work stations and food and drink vending will add to the inviting atmosphere.

Across all our libraries, you’ll find a newly implemented noise management program. While library users appreciate having spaces where they could study work on projects in groups, they need quiet areas, too. KU Libraries’ noise policy establishes and clearly marks quiet study spaces, group study areas, and cell phone zones within Watson and Anschutz Libraries. The response has been encouraging.

You will see evidence of our ongoing commitment to collaborating with key partners across campus in many ways this spring. Together with the College and the Hall Center, we hosted the university’s first digital summitThe event brought together nearly 100 scholars to discuss the future of technology and the humanities. Later this spring, we will welcome the Africana Librarians Council to KU for the first time April 15-16, 2010.

We are striving to exceed our users expectations, highlighting the role KU Libraries can play as the physical and intellectual commons on campus.

Best of luck this spring semester from KU Libraries, your partner in education.

lorraine j. haricombe
Dean of Libraries

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