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Tomorrow's Library Today: Drexel University Magazine

April 13, 2011

A Librarian for Everyone

Drexel now has personal librarians for this year's 2,750-plus freshmen to help connect them to the increasingly complicated information landscape. More than 20 personal librarians are charged with helping students learn about the resources and contacts they need to succeed. They are trained to understand the curriculum and information resources throughout Drexel's many disciplines and will maintain a relationship with the students until they move deeper into research when the primary contact becomes a subject specialist. 'The program is a natural extension of what libraries have done for a long time, but now we are adding a more personal element,' said Dean of Libraries Dr. Danuta A. Nitecki, adding that every student will begin to master the identification and evaluation of resources in order to 'explore diverse ideas and gain new knowledge.' Nitecki envisions the library as a learning enterprise, where librarians are integrated as educators in the academic life of the campus.

Where You Live and Work

That traditional university library at the heart of campus? Its days may be numbered, with Drexel University Libraries leading the way. Beginning with a 'Library Learning Terrace' in the heart of the University's residential community, Drexel is exploring multiple learning spaces across campus designed to essentially bring the library to the students. The strategy proposed by Dean of Libraries Dr. Danuta A. Nitecki is to establish spaces and programs that promote intentional learning among students as well as interactive collaborations joining students with faculty and staff with expertise in technology, pedagogy, and information. The first Library Learning Terrace will open this spring in 3,000 square feet of space on the ground floor of the Race Street Residence Hall at 33rd and Race Streets. This 'bookless library' will have wireless capability and stations for students to work and collaborate. Students will be able to make appointments with librarian specialists, tutors, or teaching assistants to meet them at the Terrace for training or assistance in their studies. This experiment may lead to a network of library hubs throughout campus. View the Drexel University Magazine as a PDF.   'Tomorrow's Library Today.' Drexel University Magazine. Philadelphia, PA. Spring 2011.