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New Library Lab Supports Student Success and Life-Long Learning

In information literacy classes, taught by the librarians at IUPUI, college students learn critical thinking and research skills that are vitally important to both their academic and professional careers.

INDIANPOLIS―IUPUI University Library announces the launch of its new 2120 Learning Lab, an innovative new instructional space designed especially for library classes. In cooperation with other faculty from various schools across campus, like the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Kelley School of Business, IUPUI librarians teach students how to effectively target and evaluate electronic information, as well as how to use it responsibly. The work they do in the new learning lab will enable students to better:

• Organize and conduct results oriented research

• Assess needed information effectively and efficiently

• Evaluate information and its sources

Library classes include students from all levels at IUPUI, but focus in particular on incoming freshmen, teaching core skills that will help them complete a degree at IUPUI and equip them for a career in the 21st Century workplace.

David Lewis, Dean of the University Library explains that, “in today’s world technology is key to information discovery, evaluation, and use. This new space, which is very flexible, gives librarians the capacity to teach in multiple ways. Instructional space had been a constraint for our program, so this facility is a big plus for us.”

The University Library will host a public opening and reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 9, 2010 in the 2120 Learning Lab, located in the library’s 2nd floor Reference Room. An interactive introduction to the new facility will begin at 6 p.m.

Unique in its design, the classroom’s mobile workstations and wireless configuration make it possible to quickly rearrange furniture and equipment to accommodate an array of teaching and learning styles. The new space can also be used by individuals and groups of students when classes are not in session.

Renee Jackson, Director of Information Systems at the library says, “All the details of the technology, furniture and space were carefully considered and designed to provide total flexibility. Wireless, dual-boot iMacs inside mobile furniture with a programmable, surround-video system provide instructors and students with the power to choose just the right configuration for their instructional session or group research project.”

A recent study by the Association of American Colleges and Universities reports that 70% of employers want colleges to place more emphasis on information literacy. The 2120 Learning Lab was made possible by contributions from several Indiana companies with an interest in helping IUPUI students succeed. Contributors to the project include, RJE Business Interiors, which worked with the Indiana University Architect’s Office and the library’s Client Support Team to design the space; the AT&T Foundation, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Bedel Financial Consulting, Herff Jones, Inc. and Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital. Funding for equipment in the room also came from The Library Fund, a fund of The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate. The creation of this unique new learning environment was also made possible by philanthropic gifts from a number of generous individual donors.

In the future, the University Library plans to utilize the new room in an upcoming collaboration with Arizona State University, Collge Ready, College Bound. By engaging local high school teachers, media specialists and students, this innovative program will explore how library instruction can help students successfully transition to college.

Since it opened in its current location in 1993, the University Library has had a reputation for effectively utilizing technology in the library environment. Over the last five years, the library redeveloped more than 4,500 square feet of space to better meet the evolving needs of students. Other new spaces include the Rich Media Cluster on the fourth floor, which offers students a wide range of state-of-the art multimedia technology and is a collaborative effort between the library and University Technology Services. Also, new in the library is the International Newsroom, where students can view six different networks from places around the world, like China, Mexico and the Middle East.

Located at 755 W. Michigan Avenue in the heart of the IUPUI campus, the University Library is a public library, serving the people of Indiana as well as the university population. Any resident of Indiana is eligible for an IUPUI University Library card. Our resources and librarians are also available on-line at http://www.ulib.iupui.edu. Browse our on-line collections to learn more about the road to Indiana Statehood, the history of the National FFA Organization, the writer James Whitcomb Riley and much more, or contact a librarian specialist for help with professional and school-related research.

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Last updated by kpsorrel on 03/03/2011