The Miller F. Whittaker Library additions are coming along nicely, with plans for expansion in the future.

Twenty-one new computers have been added to the library’s first floor. They are more efficient than earlier computers and less of a hassle for students. They do not require students to log in and the computer and printer settings are preset.

More additions to the first and second floor of the library include adjustable tables, which have control panels to operate the table height from a sitting to a standing position.

Conference rooms now have monitors for students to engage in collaborative learning through video streaming and presentations.

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Dr. Ruth Hodges, interim dean of the library, has been a great asset in improving the library’s services.

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“We installed large computer monitors for students to work together in groups. They have access to whiteboards, and this is important because in these group settings, students are educating one another — you all are learning from each other,” Hodges said.

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Hodges has big hopes for the library’s success.

“We would love to remodel the entire library. I always tell people this library was built in 1969. It was built for baby boomers” Hodges said. “Current and upcoming generations are more collaborative. Even though we are keeping the library up to par, we want to make it more open.”

Utilizing the space in an alternate way would make a significant difference. Making changes to storage and furnishing pieces would recreate the space to optimize the current features.

“We have these high book shelving — the vision to have short shelves around 5 feet. This will allow for more sunlight to come in and the overall layout to be visible,” Hodges said.

Advanced digital concepts have been discussed, which would create more space within the library for new additions. Hodges admires the high-tech structural operation of D. H. Hill Jr. Library at North Carolina State University (NC State). She wants to create designated “collaborative workspaces” for students to use for all types of projects. More outdoor seating areas are another potential addition. She also mentioned such amenities as a cafe/coffee shop, technology-based academic resources, and a mood-stimulating color scheme.

“They (NC State) have all sorts of equipment, and students can just go in, be creative and develop a lot of different things. North Carolina State University has spaces that they use differently, and this is what we want for our students. The intent is to create an outlet for students to be more innovative,” Hodges said.

Libraries in the digital age today are having to adopt new purposes to be useful.

“It may not be about books so much –if you want a book get a digital one. They will still be available,” Hodges said. $1 for the first 26 weeks

Library culture has transitioned to an open concept structure, and libraries are being used more as workspaces. The Miller F. Whittaker library needs several upgrades. Hodges is hopeful for the change and encourages students, faculty, staff, and local communities to support and push for the change, as well.

Sophia Galvan is an SC State senior majoring in communications with a concentration in broadcasting. She is interning with SC State University Relations.

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