Thursday, December 21, 2006

Building Community on Campus: Reference Services for the "After 5" Crowd

It’s Tuesday night and the lobby of Ball State University’s Bracken Library is buzzing with the energy of a hip night club. Students are meeting at the naked lady statue (artist Albin Polasek’s Forest Idyll) to discuss their days and plan their evenings, checking their e-mail on laptops through the Libraries’ wireless network, relaxing in cushy chairs with the latest issue of The Ball State Daily News, and reserving rooms for group study sessions.

Everyone knows that the University Libraries is the place to go for the excellent services and sources necessary for successful scholarship in the modern age, but, for many Ball State students, Bracken Library is also the place to go to see and be seen.

Students, faculty, and community visitors of the Ball State University Libraries enjoy interactive and customizable experiences that surpass the traditional functions of the academic library.

The University Libraries offer programs and services such as the following:
· Librarians to assist with research papers
· A wide variety of DVDs and CDs for personal enrichment and entertainment
· A bestsellers book collection for recreational reading
· Student art work on display throughout the Libraries
· Meeting rooms for study sessions and student organizations
· Access to the wireless network throughout
· Soft chairs for a relaxing study session or break
· Live musical and theatrical performances

Students find their libraries’ experience enhanced by the newly announced “Student Virtual Library” Web page, which is designed to serve better the research needs of undergraduates. Lots of students comment about using great resources through the Libraries’ recently developed “Digital Media Repository,” a collection of digital resources for teaching and learning.

Librarians utilize blogs to open communication channels, share information, and solicit feedback from students and faculty.

We librarians are always looking for additional ways to make the University Libraries the most enjoyable and convenient place to study and socialize on campus, making them the best places for learning after the classroom.

Please share your comments or suggestions about ways to improve University Libraries for learning and study by clicking on “Suggestions” on the left side of the Web page

For more information, contact Diane Calvin, University Libraries’ Head of Information Services,, (765) 285-3327.