Jenelle Bayus

In looking towards the future of education and instruction, collegiate libraries are being challenged to transform into entities far more than a storehouse for books and reference materialsThe contemporary library is positioning itself as a multipurpose space for cultivating scholarly communities that embrace innovation, collaboration, experiential learning, and more.  

The current Hiram College Library was cutting-edge at the time it was built in 1995but since information compilation, resource creation, and collaboration have taken center stage, the first floor has been identified as the perfect setting to establish a 21st-century learning space that attracts students, faculty, staff, and the regional community alike. Hiram is calling it the Learning and Technology Collaborative 

Completion of the renovations to the first floor of the library are occurring in two phases: the first phase was completed this past spring and the second is expected to be complete by mid-October. Highlights include:  

  • New Tech & Trek Help Desk with waiting area 
  • New Library Circulation Desk 
  • Dedicated collaboration space and meeting room 
  • Study and collaboration lounge overlooking Dean St. 
  • 2 ADA-height public computer stations 
  • 4 single-user gender-neutral ADA-accessible restrooms 
  • AVI micro-market  
  • Refreshed office spaces 

The Collaborative willbring together, highimpact programs, including Tech and Trek, Hiram’s 1:1 mobile technology initiativethe Career Center, and Hiram Connect, the campus’ experiential learning program that helps students select an internships, study-abroad trip, or research project best suited to their academic interests and career aspirations. The space will serve as a technology-rich learning environment that entices all members of the College to come together and engage in peer-to-peer tutoring or advising, service iPad, learn how to use apps, meet with a professional advisor of career specialist, or access resources through the library’s print and digital collections. Locating each of these programs, offices, and campus initiatives next to one another facilitates collaboration, innovation, and communication—key outcomes that take center stage in the New Liberal Arts model.  

To add to the vibrancy of the new space, AVI Foodsystems, Hiram’s partner in food and dining services, plans to add self-service micro market. The small food shop, designed to replace traditional vending machines with healthier food options, will provide students and other visitors with another food and beverage service on campus.   

In order to bring the idea to fruition, Hiram enlisted the help of local architect, Patrick Hyland with DLR Group out of Cleveland, Ohio. The College’s leadership team worked with Hyland to design a space for the campus community that showcases both the highlights of Hiram’s history and the work of today’s students 

Renovations to the first floor of the library have been funded as part of Hiram’s Vision 20/20 campaign, a boutique fundraising campaign designed to help the College update various facilities and infrastructures and bring a number of academic and co-curricular changes to fruition. The bipartite goal of Vision 20/20 is to raise $20 million in cash and $20 million in pledges by December 31, 2020. 

For more information about Hiram College’s Vision 20/20 Campaign, visit Gifts can also be made in support one of the many funding opportunities by contacting the Office of Alumni Relations and Development at 800-705-5050. 

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