The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Hammes Information Commons Coming

Posted by iusbvision on March 31, 2007

“Students will really be excited about the new reference room,” said IUSB Schurz Library Director Michele Russo. This summer, the library will experience the biggest change in the last twenty years as the reference room will be reconstructed as the Hammes Information Commons.  Russo adds, “More places for group projects, more specialists, and more computers will be available. I promise that the library will become the students’ favorite, comfortable place.”      

In the last twenty years with the advancement of technology, many people no longer use certain books, such as indexes, because these books have been replaced by CDs and online resources.  Instead of keeping dusty collections, the Schurz Library will donate these books to local colleges and libraries and create a better place for students. According to Russo, “their designers will make this an inviting, exciting place to be and where all students can receive and share information.”

Even if some people are unfamiliar with the online resources, reference librarians will always be available to help. In the Hammes Information Commons, not only will the librarians be available, but also IT consultants and media specialists. They will assist all users with basic computer skills, including PowerPoint, Excel and other kinds of software like movie, photo, and music editing. Moreover, there will be enough space and computers for individuals and groups use. The Adaptive Technology Room also will be remodeled as a larger and more convenient study room for students with disabilities.  

The library is changing to become a more friendly space for students. “A coffee bar will be the next project,” said Russo.  Many students will stop by the library, and hopefully it will become the center of social community on campus; however, she added, “We are still knocking on the door, asking for more donations.”

In the new Hammes Information Commons, office furniture costs more than domestic furniture because it has to be durable.  Almost five hundred students use the library every day; therefore, the furniture must be strong, antibacterial, and stain proof. Even though the library has received generous donations and reasonable discounts from companies, the new construction needs a lot of money. Russo said, “Even one dollar would be a great help and more donations will allow extra plans, such as the café in the library.”     

The Hammes Information Commons, which will be opened at the end of August, will provide a new creative place for the students. During the reconstruction, the library will remain open and promises to keep quieter spaces on upper floors.

Naoko Fujimoto

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