February 22, 2020

University of South Carolina: Thomas Cooper Library Unveils “Library of the Future”

From ABC Columbia:

On Tuesday, University of South Carolina leaders cut the ribbon on what they’re calling the ‘library of the future’.

Located on the 4th floor of the Thomas Cooper Library, the new facility includes collaborative technology pods.

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From the University of South Carolina:

Over the winter break, Level 4 [of the Thomas Cooper Library] was transformed into an adjustable and versatile space where students can study individually or in groups.

The renovation is part of Student Government’s initiative to respond to campus growing pains as the student body grows. The freshman class reached 6,300 students this past fall, and lack of seating is a noticeable problem in the library. The renovation, which was unveiled at a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, increases the library’s overall seating capacity by 100.

“Every big research library is in the same situation — we have paper volumes and are landlocked. Our university enrollment continues to increase, and the paper volumes are not used much anymore,” says Dean of Libraries Thomas McNally.

McNally cites circulation statistics that show only about 100,000 volumes are used every year, when those numbers used to be in the millions.

“Unused books take up space, and students have no space to sit. Students need to be in the library and need to be able to work collaboratively,” McNally says.

[Clip]

New seating includes booth-like couches, bar stool chairs and chairs similar to a first-class airline seat with a footrest, reclining chair, light and movable tabletops. Each area is equipped with charging ports to assist with technology needs. White noise machines were installed to reduce distractions. New-to-the-market collaborative technology pods, which provide a private room with glass walls and broadcasting screens, allow students to seal off sound and monitor air flow. The university is the first in the nation to have this technology.

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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