At her annual spring President’s Forum, President Mary-Beth Cooper announced the name of the new Learning Commons as the Harold C. Smith Learning Commons. The name celebrates the legacy of the late Harold C. Smith, a Springfield College Trustee for more than 30 years and a leader in the YMCA. He passed away on March 21, 2017. For more information about Smith and the Learning Commons, click here.
In her presentation, President Cooper also shared a rendering of the building with its new name.
Meanwhile, the construction site is still busy, with reality coming closer and closer to resembling the above rendering. Patron services specialist Lisa Sotak snapped this gorgeous photo from her office window in Judd Gymnasia on a recent evening:
With the installation of the new windows on the facade of the Learning Commons, the improvements are that much more obvious to anyone passing by on the street. Sharing the new look of the Learning Commons building provides us with the perfect opportunity to share the new look of some of the departments that will be housed within the Learning Commons – a facelift, both inside and out!
Like all of the Learning Commons’ departments, library services is working to foster an environment of collaboration with and between the rest of the campus. Librarians are continuing their work within academic departments, taking advantage of their temporary office locations among the faculty, while the technical services department continues its efforts to make as many resources available to students, faculty, and staff as possible, whether by offering electronic or open-access books as textbooks to help students save money or instituting a new interlibrary loan system. Library services continue to look for more ways to help support students and faculty in their research!
The Technology Solutions Center (TSC) and Media Services have combined forces to create Technology Services, a single helpdesk for all of the campus’ technology needs. There, students, faculty, and staff are able to get devices repaired; receive assistance with technology tools like Moodle; schedule media services for events and projects; and borrow technology for academic needs.
Academic Technology works to help students, staff, and faculty navigate the ever-changing technological frontier. The teams directly supports campus innovation through new training programs, personal consultations, and even online resources. Those programs will continue to expand as the potential of the integrated technologies in the Learning Commons grows.
Academic Success Center
How is the Academic Success Center preparing for the transition into the new building? In a word… planning! They have been planning out their spaces, their services and their partnerships. Since the ASC opened in 2007, its space in Hickory Hall has been undersized to fit in all of its tutorial services, academic coaching, and accessibility services. In the Learning Commons, the ASC will have significant amounts of tutoring space, one-on-one meeting areas, and test proctoring rooms. Some big plans for our new space include:
Rolling the Athletic Training Lab into the Content Tutorial Program to allow greater flexibility for the students who need assistance in AT courses.
Utilizing the group study rooms for one-on-one academic coaching, online tutoring sessions for distance learners, small group MTEL workshops, test proctoring, and athletic counseling sessions and team study halls.
Collaborating with colleagues in ITS to better encrypt confidential information and expand access to assistive technology.
Determining appropriate workshops and developmental trainings to connect to courses that could hold classes in the new Learning Commons space.
Hiring a student employee as a Marketing Assistant to promote the Academic Success Center and its service through social media.
Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship
The Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship adopted its new name (formerly the Center for Teaching and Learning) as it finishes up its first year of existence and prepares to move into its new space. More supported faculty development is coming in the very near future and will be a main function of the new Center. Keep checking here and on the Springfield College Library Services Facebook page and the @SCLearningCommons Instagram account to get more updates.
Members of the Learning Commons Executive Building Committee – including President Mary-Beth Cooper – got a special tour of the construction site. Library Director Andrea Taupier and Director of Communications Steve Roulier sent along some photos they took, which are available on the Springfield College Library Services Facebook page:
FACS sent along some photos from inside the construction site. New windows have been installed on the back and sides of the buildings and framing is being done in the front. Plus, new equipment is starting to go into the inside. We’re moving along!
One of the main changes to the exterior of the Learning Commons is the removal of the front stairs in exchange for a first-floor entrance and more landscaping. On Thursday, Jan. 12, A/Z Construction began removal of the concrete steps. Check out these images!
As the campus gears up for finals, times and locations of available study space is a topic of utmost importance. We are happy to announce that in addition to extended hours in existing library and study space locations, we have reserved the Dodge Room in the Flynn Campus Union and the Harold Smith Room in Judd for additional space for students to study. The following locations will have available study space during finals for the listed hours:
The designers at ICON Architects have reached the furniture stage of the planning process. While they plot out what couches, chairs, ottomans, tables, desks and more will be featured in the new Learning Commons at Springfield College, they are dropping off samples of some of the possibilities for display and use at the temporary library space in Judd West. Come try it out and visit frequently, as the options will change!
A/Z Corporation, the construction company working on the Learning Commons renovation project, gave a guided tour to a few lucky members of the Springfield College community. Director of Facilities and Campus Services Greg Walters; Project Manager Jennifer Vigneault; Library Director Andrea Taupier; Chief Information Officer Danny Davis; and Director of Communications Steve Roulier joined Matt from ICON Architects and Rick from A/Z to talk a walk though the construction site. Photos courtesy of Andrea Taupier.
The Learning Commons is more than a building; it’s a state of mind. The various departments that will be co-located in the new Learning Commons when it opens for fall 2017 are already beginning efforts to collaborate and merge services and resources that will continue in the new space.
Earlier this month, the Technology Solutions Center and Media Services announced a streamlining of services from a single point of contact. That means that any calls to the TSC for technology help (ext. 4872) or to media services for multimedia equipment or staffing (ext. 3113) will be answered by a single receptionist, who will then answer or forward the request to an appropriate expert. In addition, the TSC helpdesk currently located in Judd West Gymnasium will include both TSC and media services experts to help with whatever technology needs the students, faculty, or staff of Springfield College might have.
According to Media Services Manager Mike Ahearn and Technology Solutions Center Director Trish Dalessio, the service desk will now include:
Single point of contact for loaning equipment.
Extended hours for media services questions.
Additional resources for improved classroom support.
Single-user support for creating technology job tickets.
By combining forces now, the TSC and media services will have several months to familiarize themselves with each other’s services and address any major hurdles before moving into the combined desk in the new Learning Commons.