Hiram College

Library - Creating Spaces for 21st Century

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 materials. The 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 1995, but 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.

The Collaborative will bring together high-impact programs, including Hiram’s Tech and Trek initiative, the Career Center and Hiram Connect, the campus’ experiential learning program that helps students select an internship, 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, and 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 a 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.

The goals of the renovation are to create a “Third Place” (second to classroom and residence hall spaces) that attracts students, faculty, and the community; foster a sense of activity that induces intellectual and social engagement; co-locate a Bistro, Tech and Trek, Hiram Connect, Information, and Soft Space and showcase both the highlights of Hiram’s history and the work and stories of today’s students.

Renovation highlights:

  • 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 coming fall 2020