Keeping the Library at the Forefront of the University's Outreach Agenda
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Keeping the Library at the Forefront of the University's Outreach Agenda

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How do programs and exhibits translate into the University Libraries being a key player in the University’s efforts to bridge the gap between town and gown? How does this help add to the pipeline of ...

How do programs and exhibits translate into the University Libraries being a key player in the University’s efforts to bridge the gap between town and gown? How does this help add to the pipeline of potential prospects and new donors the Libraries might not otherwise be able to reach?

With the opening of the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center in 2008, the libraries at the University of Nevada, Reno found themselves thrust into a new role. The Knowledge Center’s extensive galleries, lobbies, auditorium and gracious reading rooms needed to be programmed. The Knowledge Center is now host to many high profile events for the campus and community – events planned by Library faculty and staff or organized in collaboration with colleges and units across campus. DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library has also undergone a radical change and is now a center for the makerspace movement in the community.

All of this has created opportunities for the Libraries to build relationships with potential new donors, outside of the normal channels through central development. The Libraries are also playing an increasingly significant role in the University’s outreach efforts.

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  • The Univ of Nevada, Reno is a Top 100 National University located near Lake Tahoe in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Founded in 1874, UNR is a land grant university with growing student population of nearly 19,000 students. <br /> As a university library system, our challenge is one shared by all academic libraries: positioning ourselves as advocates and partners in supporting the university’s goals which include reaching out to the larger community to bridge the town/gown divide. We also need to attract prospective donors. <br />
  • Several years ago, we faced the first challenge: moving out of a 20th century library. Opened in 1963, Getchell Library was in the heart of campus but was not welcoming or comfortable or spacious. It was designed to house books primarily not empower people.
  • It was as out of date as this students hairdo.
  • In 2008, the new library Knowledge Center opened. Nearly 300,000 sf, it was twice the size of Getchell Library and was decidedly NOT a traditional library. Not even called a library anymore.
  • From 20th century values and priorities…
  • To 21st century values and priorities. The @One floor of the Knowledge Center is a mecca of leading edge technologies and media production equipment and expertise: DataWorks Lab for geospacial, mathematical and statistical needs; a poster and image production area; the Dynamic Media Lab for digital creation and production for still and moving images; a high end editing room, professional sound booth, and large green screen studio. In addition, an extensive equipment check out operation with cameras, video cameras, sound equipment, laptops, iPads and other tablets, etc. In @One, we recognize the critical importance of images (not just text) in knowledge creation and production.
  • But the Knowledge Center was not just high tech, it was also designed to be high touch with an emphasis on people spaces, art and cultural events, casual gathering places, etc. Lobby invites people to sit down and talk amidst art installations such as Cardboard Gandhi shown here with creator, Joe Delappe, professor of art.
  • On each of its 5 floors, there was an abundance of programmable space. These walls, exhibit areas, art niches, and galleries would require ongoing curation.
  • Examples of high visibility spaces that need special attention: the faculty and graduate student reading and discussion room…
  • The Special Collections exhibit room. Here we see it filled out as part of a larger exhibit on the history of Nevada schools. But when the building opened, it was not clear how it would be handled. What goes in the exhibit cases and on the walls between big exhibits? Who oversees the space, does the choosing of items, frames and hangs the art, arranges the cases, etc?
  • Again, we see the gallery walls here with photographs hanging for a special exhibit. But who “owns” this space and ensures that displays are kept fresh and interesting?
  • So, the development director could easily see how this brand new gorgeous facility brought about many new opportunities for public events, community outreach, donor cultivation events. But… <br />
  • What’s the problem? No one is responsible for exhibits, displays, public events. No additional staffing for this new building. No one has experience with galleries, exhibits and public events. And no one steps up (except the DD).
  • Fundraising in the old library was nonexistant. When it was built (1963) the UNR Foundation did not exist (1983). The university had been slowly shifting from a state supported institution to one that required generous philanthropic support. Central development was also emphasizing fundraising rather than PR and friend raising activities but assumptions and expectations at the library level were very different. To make things worse, major budget cutbacks occurred just as the building was opening and another round 3 years later. <br />
  • Solution? Start where you are with what you have.
  • This rag tag group of individuals include “old” and new librarians, IT staff, English professor and local newspaper reporter. They stepped outside their comfort zones and joined together to put on the first event to be held in the Knowledge Center’s Wells Fargo Auditorium, a reader’s theater of Psychoscope, a play performed during the Comstock era. [The Comstock Lode was a lode of silver ore located in the Virginia Range in Nevada (then western Utah Territory). It was the first major discovery of silver ore in the US and it sparked a rush of prospectors to the area. Mining camps soon thrived which became bustling centers of fabulous wealth, including Virginia City and Gold Hill. The Comstock Lode is notable for the immense fortunes it generated and the large role those fortunes had in the growth of Nevada and San Francisco.
  • This is Donnie Curtis, head of Special Collections. Donnie didn’t have experience with art exhibits or event planning but that didn’t stop her from pulling together a summer art show in connection with a large community art event called Artown. Due to the success of the first show, Post-war Bohemian artists, area artists became aware of her work and several helped with a show on the next generation of artists, the post- post-war artists, the following year.
  • One of the band members of the San Francisco based group, Sopwith Camel, wanted to participate.
  • They held a special reunion performance in the Knowledge Center’s auditorium. All because one motivated person was willing to step outside of her comfort zone.
  • Donnie’s efforts snowballed and as you can see from this slide, she was the instigator of a third summer art event (also connected with Reno’s Artown). This show pulled together sculpture, paintings, photographs and other art much of it related to local casinos and gaming culture. It was a huge hit.
  • Another motivated individual is Jacque Sundstrand, also from Special Collections, who threw herself into the brave new world of exhibits, white glove events and telling interesting stories about Sp colls and university archives.
  • Sometimes they are found in unexpected – like building operations manager, Alden K and technician Larry S. They were the brains and brawn behind our NUC book tree and Big Nevada N recycled art projects. Offering a E-reader bar brought together people from various units: librns, staff and student ass’ts. And Tod Colegrove really took the ball and ran with it at our science/engineering library and 3D printing.
  • In addition to identifying a handful of motivated individuals, when you’re starting from scratch it is vital to partner with other groups. With a music professor who provides the talent, we provide a weekly drop-in brown bag concert series (L-cubed); a business class asked if they could organize a flash mob event in the atrium; Special Collections worked with the Univ of NV Press, Basque Studies and the school of journalism to host an event featuring a new book on NV writer Robert Laxalt. [Good friendraising opportunities]
  • We partnered with faculty across the disciplines to host various programs and events.
  • We extended our reach beyond the campus to the larger community to include things such as showing a traveling exhibit of NV soldiers’ photographs and poetry and hosting a panel from the No. Nevada arts community.
  • We are shamelessly opportunistic. When the president decided he wanted to hold tailgate parties in our lobby during football season, we figured out how to make it work – complete with the marching band and enthusiastic (i.e. loud) cheerleaders!
  • We also find opportunities to show off our back-of-house robotics: a 6 aisle automated storage and retrieval system called MARS. It’s a crowd pleaser. And to grow our own alumni base, we hold a celebration ceremony for our graduating student assistants.
  • Finally, we are always on the look out for new opportunities that fit our mission and outreach agenda. We have positioned ourselves as the academic home for Burning Man studies, offering an annual lecture series, building an archive of unique B.M. materials and working across the disciplines to bring scholars together whose work focuses on some aspect of B.M./Black Rock City (cultural anthropology, geography, sociology, etc).
  • To recap: our solution was to start small. Numbers 1 and 5 are the most important. A brief illustration of the evolution of our science and engineering library provides a good example of what we’re talking about.
  • Beautiful, historic building on the historic quad. Some distance from the razzle-dazzle high tech newness of the Knowledge Center.
  • This was a pretty typical day in 2010. Deserted (except for the occasional visitor).
  • Tod Colegrove, the new head of the library asked himself, “Given the ideal location [next to engineering, science and mining schools) and the size of the community of potential users, why isn’t this library a hotbed of activity?”
  • Transformer!
  • Note variety of activities, groups and collaborations. Whiteboard paint on the walls encourages ad hoc study groups. <br />
  • Notice chalkboards in addition to whiteboards – because chalk is still preferred by a good number of faculty and students!
  • On the entry level of the library. This space was previously the Circulation and permanent reserves area. Now, peer interactions abound with lots of space and highly visible drop-in tutoring services. <br />
  • Even the basement is alive with activity!
  • Circulation now a much smaller service desk and perm reserves filled with LEGO Mindstorms NXT, Arduino kits, AR.Drones, and more.
  • Characteristics of students who use DLM
  • How does this happen? A big culture shift brought about by energetic and adventurous librarians such as Tod Colegrove and Chrissy Klenke. DIY librarians. Because of the many challenges involved in making transformative changes success depends on entrepreneurial staff to champion projects, embrace ambiguity and who are humble enough to learn alongside the students. <br />
  • For DeLaMare library, motivated individuals combined with a few radical ideas leads to success.
  • Librarians and staff at DeLaMare hosted an afternoon outing on the campus front lawn (the Quad) with a copy of “Little Boy”, a Burning Man art car modeled after one of the first atomic bombs. College freshmen and the Women in Science & Engineering club joined Little Boy’s creator for an afternoon of adventure – at the front door of the library.
  • Little Boy brought the WOW factor and so did our 3D printing services that were launched in late 2012. But this was more than an attention getting gambit. 3D printing (a process of thin plastic layering that build up to create 3 dimensional objects) is an impressive tool in knowledge creation. Above are some of the many objects that were created on our 3D printers during its first months of operation. Students were highly motivated to learn how to use 3D modeling software programs and improving on their failures
  • Faculty use 3D printing for many things including instructional and research purposes.
  • Partnering with local community groups to bring workshops into the library. Reaching out to the local community of developers and “maker” space/DIY types is a critically important part of the plan.

Keeping the Library at the Forefront of the University's Outreach Agenda Keeping the Library at the Forefront of the University's Outreach Agenda Presentation Transcript

  • Keeping the Library at the Forefront of the University’s Outreach Agenda Kathlin L. Ray Dean of Libraries and Teaching & Learning Technologies Millie Mitchell Development Director University of Nevada, Reno ALADN Conference, Kansas City, May 2014
  • The challenge: moving from this
  • and this…
  • Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center “A pioneering information environment designed to nurture creativity and stimulate intellectual inquiry.” …to this
  • “ Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center “New knowledge, applied to existing tasks, results in increased productivity. New knowledge applied to new challenges and tasks is fundamental to innovation.”
  • ““Recognizing this critical interplay between knowledge and innovation, the University of Nevada, Reno has established one of the first centers in the nation built specifically to embrace these dynamics of the 21st century.” Steven Zink, VP for IT and Dean of Libraries Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
  • 20th century values
  • The DevelopmentDirector’sDilemma • Extensive galleries and wall space • Exhibit cases and art niches • Beautiful reading rooms • Soaring atrium and spacious lobbies • Auditorium w/ event space Great opportunities! What’s the problem?
  • Director of Development not a soul student assistant
  • • New building, new spaces, new uses • No staff for galleries, exhibits and events • Marching orders: fundraising! (not events) • Librarians unsure of new roles • Budget cuts in 2008 • And again in 2011 The DevelopmentDirector’sDilemma,cont’d
  • Solution: start small 1. Identify motivated individuals • Librarians and staff, anyone interested • Alumni with art expertise • Friends of the Library 2. Partner with other campus units 3. Commit to marketing/communications - PT 4. Hire graphic designer (student!) 5. Take advantage of every opportunity
  • Identifymotivatedindividuals
  • Identifymotivatedindividuals
  • Identifymotivatedindividuals
  • Identifymotivatedindividuals
  • Identifymotivatedindividuals
  • Partnerwith campusgroups
  • Partner with community groups
  • Take advantageof every opportunity
  • University of Nevada, Reno Range Club presents Will Roger Burning Man Project Founding Member and Director of Nevada Relations Free Presentation: Managing Black Rock City and the Spread of Its Culture Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, 7 p.m. Wells Fargo Auditorium Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center University of Nevada, Reno Seating is limited; reservations required For reservations and information: http://www.cabnr.unr.edu/burningman/ or 775-200-5666 Held in cooperation with Burning Inquiry, a programof the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center If you have any comments or want more information about the University Libraries and the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, please e-mail Millie Mitchell: mimitchell@unr.edu.
  • Solution: start small 1. Identify motivated individuals 2. Partner with other campus units 3. Commit to marketing/communications - PT 4. Hire graphic designer (student!) 5. Take advantage of every opportunity
  • DeLaMare Science & Engineering Library
  • DeLaMare Library, Spring 2010
  • DeLaMare Library, Spring 2010
  • Enter: Tod Colegrove, change agent
  • Flash-forward 3 years, a tour of the library 2013…
  • Typical day on the top floor DeLaMare photo credits, Nick Crowl and Tod Colegrove
  • Across the 2nd floor DeLaMare photo credits, Nick Crowl and Tod Colegrove
  • Ground floor DeLaMare photo credits, Nick Crowl and Tod Colegrove
  • And on the Lower Level (basement)
  • Lego Mindstorms, Arduinos, etc DeLaMare photo credits, Nick Crowl and Tod Colegrove
  • Collaboration, discussion, engagement DeLaMare photo credits, Nick Crowl and Tod Colegrove
  • Culture shift Extraordinary people required
  • Radical collaboration •Spaces, furnishings, tools •Service models •Faculty/student engagement •Community outreach •Wow factor
  • Wow factors: a Burning Man art car
  • Print services: paper or plastic?
  • Ben King, Chemistry faculty “one of the very hard things about teaching chemistry is explaining that molecules have shape. This basically removes that obstacle ... so it will change how we teach chemistry and how we look at molecules on a daily basis. It's also just plain fun." Photo by Tod Colegrove: Photo of King by Jason Hildago from Engadget: http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/19/reshaping-universities-through-3d-printing/
  • “Bridgewire” collaboration Photo by Nick Crowl: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dstl_unr/
  • Knowledge Center & DeLaMare 6 years later • Culture shift • Strong partnerships with campus and community • Prominent place in recruiting, community events and even national press • Creating pipelines to new donors • On the president’s agenda
  • Questions? Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center | DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library University of Nevada, Reno kray@unr.edu | mmitchell@unr.edu Questions?