Recent renovations to the second and third floors of the Kolenbrander-Harter Information Center (KHIC) began the next iteration of the library, combining faculty offices, classrooms, and book stacks with a student learning commons. These are spaces in which tutoring and academic support are offered, digital studios encourage production of multi-media digital information, and group meeting spaces facilitate team projects for students in education, entrepreneurship, computer science, and communication. In addition, the library will include technology-rich classrooms to support active learning by students on our campus and at a distance from Mount Union.
To be relocated on the first floor of KHIC, the Center for Student Success (CSS) will continue to empower students in the strategic pursuit of their goals as they relate to personal transition, self-discovery, academic progress and success, and career planning. Mount Union is highly invested in student success at every stage of learning, thus the CSS is designed to assist, support, and advise students so that they may successfully navigate the entire college experience. In its new location, the center will continue to focus on advocacy, problem solving, and retention and will provide the academic resources students need to overcome learning challenges and improve skills.
The next iteration of the library will include the following.
- Expanded group study spaces
- Expanded Learning Commons to house academic success services
- Department of Communication digital classroom and studio
- WRMU studio
Communication-related fields remain popular majors at Mount Union, and a newly redesigned integrated media major better reflects the modern media landscape that students will enter upon graduation. This revised program, along with the others within the Department of Communication, provides graduates with the critical thinking and technical skills necessary for researching, writing, producing, directing, and marketing digital content.
New, innovative facilities for media production are the next step in the evolution of communication education at Mount Union. Although the KHIC currently houses the Department of Communication, our student media are located elsewhere on campus. The relocation of media arts within the renovated KHIC facility will provide a digital media studio where students and faculty can work critically and creatively with the technologies and software relevant to modern, converged media industries.
In today’s global society, collaboration is key – in the workforce, in our communities, and in our schools. As we prepare students for success in this modern world, we must help them hone their abilities to lead ably, communicate effectively, and think critically. Thus, it is imperative that we provide them with spaces on campus that foster student interaction and teamwork, while leveraging innovation and technology to do so.
In essence, we must create a library for the future, a library that incorporates today’s technology to support student research, learning, and collaboration. We must provide space that fosters interaction and teamwork while also offering quiet nooks for individual study and reflection.
It is time for the Kolenbrander-Harter Information Center to become the innovative and accommodating space it has the potential to be. It is time to transform the library of yesterday into a cohesive and modern learning space for tomorrow. Our students need it. They want it. And they will be better prepared for the future because of it.