Hirshon: KSL is looking forward to growth

I would like to extend my thanks to Austin Stroud for his article in last week’s issue of The Observer, “KSL, campus need smarter study spaces.” Feedback such as his is essential as we constantly strive to be responsive to student needs.

First, we at Kelvin Smith Library (KSL) were very glad to hear that the new “solo seating” has been so successful and well-received. Given the overwhelmingly positive reception this seating has received since it became available in January, we are now working to add another cluster in the quiet study area of the third floor. The new cluster should be available before the fall semester. We will continue to monitor the use of these and our other seating arrangements and to make additional improvements as our budget allows.

Concerning the collaboration spaces, we want to encourage students to use the new Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship’s Collaboration Commons. This room is now open for group collaboration and for individual study. The room is filled with fully mobile furniture and white boards. We are also awaiting delivery of new large screen multi-touch screens that will enable students to engage in even more productive collaborative work. We are also working to extend the hours of the Commons so it will be available 24/7; we expect this to be in place before the end of the current semester.

In addition, we will soon implement a new reservation system, so students will be able to self-schedule collaboration sessions. In the meantime, the tables in the Collaboration Commons are available with no reservation required. (Once in place, this new scheduling software will also make it easier for students to schedule space in the other collaboration rooms within KSL.)

We encourage students who have not yet had a chance to see the newly redesigned Freedman Center to please join us on Thursday, April 7 at 11 a.m. for a rededication ceremony and open house of the newly redesigned spaces, an event that will feature remarks from President Barbara R. Snyder. The event is open to all CWRU students and faculty.

These are just a part of our efforts to engage in continuous improvement in providing effective spaces for students to engage, to learn and to conduct their research. For example, we are now working to identify additional spaces that can be developed to further student collaboration and individual study.

Finally, there is one way in which I would like to request the assistance of all students who use KSL in our efforts to improve your library. It would help enormously if, at the end of work sessions at KSL, students would simply clean up the spaces and dispose of your trash. We also would appreciate students helping us to extend the useful life of the tables and chairs by using the furniture gently. These simple steps will ensure that KSL can continue to provide the high-quality facilities, collections and services that our excellent student body deserves.

Please keep sending us your suggestions. We may not be able to implement every idea or make every change immediately, but we will always listen and do our very best to be responsive.

Arnold Hirshon
Associate Provost and University Librarian