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Enriching the Academic Experience: the Library and Experiential Learning at Middle Tennessee State University
William Black, Christy Groves and Amy York, Middle Tennessee State University
Middle Tennessee State University adopted its experiential learning program as part of the 2006 academic accreditation process. Experiential learning (EXL) merges classroom teaching with the work environment to enhance the overall educational experience. Through EXL, students, faculty and external organizations collaborate to strengthen learning.
The James E. Walker Library has taken a proactive program approach to EXL @ MTSU, through the creation of partnerships with instructional faculty and student groups. Through these partnerships, members of the library faculty have been engaged in a number of entrepreneurial activities to enhance student education and involve the library more directly in the university’s mission to develop educated men and women.
We propose to talk about some of the library’s entrepreneurial partnerships that enhance learning through experience. These programs include initiatives such as the Student Art Partnership which offers the Library as a learning site for art installations that raise student awareness, the Printing Press Project which brings the library’s locally crafted 18th century reproduction printing press into university and county K-12 classrooms, and the Assessment Project which utilizes skills of Management & Marketing and Anthropology students to evaluate library effectiveness across campus.
We will discuss a representative sample of EXL partnerships at MTSU, describe the activities and outcomes, and assess how, by thinking entrepreneurially, the programs have strengthened the library’s relationship with students and brought the library more fully into the educational process.
William Black is a Professor & the Administrative Services Librarian
Christy Groves is an Assistant Professor & the Coordinator of User Services
Amy York is an Assistant Professor & the Distance Education Librarian