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Hello...sorry for length

Here at our two year community college in Madison WI the library has played a vital role in the development of our new Student Achievement Centers.  We have a large center at 15, 000 sf at our main campus and 4 smaller Centers at regional campuses.  We have been operational since June 2013 with all new facilities.  The year prior to that we tested a combination Center that housed the library and tutoring services in the same space [no floors, no dividing walls, etc.] and it did not go so well.  The noise level left library students scrambling for other spots on campus.  They complained A LOT.  I do think there is a tendency to underestimate the student desire to have those traditional type spaces a library offers.  For us, that was pretty evident, but we also have a superb library.   So we came up with a new model.  

The "adjacency" model.  Understanding the synergy between the spaces, but also the differences, we came to the conclusion that each departments work merited its' own space.  So in our smaller models we literally have them right across the hall from each other, but each has four walls, windows, a door, a welcome desk.  Each space also houses unique layouts, furniture, etc. that offers students many learning options and environments.  Students have made the connection that our Centers are more collaborative areas and our Libraries are more small group/individual study and they are using both like crazy.   In our large model the Center is on 2nd floor and the library is on 3rd floor of our new Gateway building.  No internal connections were made [e.g. stairwell, elevator, etc.], but we have a couple of stairwells and an elevator right across from the entrances and we put a coffee shop and small lounge-like commons area on the way up.   

Our Centers provided 101,000 hours of support and our libraries had 500,000 visitors last year.   The staff is somewhat cross-trained and encourages students to use both spaces with our talking points.  It's about discovery and building community for us.  We have done a pretty good job with it, but still have work to do.  Instead of taking the let's pay Peter to rob Paul approach, we say let's pay them both--they both deserve it and both are needed.  One does not replace the other.  We have no regrets about our model at all.

What has been hardest is getting all the formerly independent units like the Learning Center, Writing Center, Library to adjust to new collaborative ways of thinking.  And also, taking smaller units, but applying larger, joint facility policy appropriately [e.g. hours.]   My two cents...


Julie C. Gores, M.L.S.

Dean, L.A.S.S.
1701 Wright Street
Truax Library, Rm. A3000D 
Madison WI 53704
608-246-6633


-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Malewicki, Debbie
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2015 12:53 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Learning Center question

Hello,

Please forgive the longer post. . .

We moved to the Library five years ago this fall.  I was initially dismayed because we were put on the lower level of the building, i.e., below ground level on one side.  We moved from what was probably the ideal spot on campus (Just outside of our door was a shortcut students took between the residential quad and the academic quad, and we were in the administrative building.) for foot traffic to pretty out of the way, but the reality is that we had seriously outgrown our former space, and we were promised an updated and larger space, which we received.  (Our new space was formerly the government documents vault.  I made a major push for glass walls in spots and large glass windows and doors in the renovation, which we mostly received.  Combined with a soft yellow paint and welcoming blue carpeting, and decorated properly, we dispelled the basement aura upfront.)

Anticipating that it would be an "uphill battle" to retain our numbers, we stepped up our marketing strategies and breadth and continued our campaign to label tutoring as desirable for all students.  It worked.

Our utilization grew 400% after the move, and we went from serving about 15% of the student population annually two years before the move to over 50% last year (~6,400 student enrollment).  It took a lot of work to make us visible when we are no longer in such a convenient place.

I did a presentation on marketing strategies a couple weeks ago at the NCLCA conference.  We'll post it on our website in the next few days (http://www.newhaven.edu/academics/CLR/876937/) in case anyone is interested.

As for other issues, mostly I would say merging of the CLR and Library staffs was an issue since we were moving into their space, shared a staff lounge, etc.  Our staff is 2.5-3 times the size of theirs, so I suspect it felt like a bit of an invasion upfront, which was awkward on both sides, but the more that each staff brought in food to share "with everyone," invited each other to social events, and made it clear that our Keurigs are their Keurigs, etc., the easier the transition became.

One issue you may run into is different hours of operation.  Most of the time, our Library is open later than we are, but we discovered the first year or so that they would be closed hours we were running preterm training, which needed some negotiating for staff access to our facility.

Everything is surmountable, but be prepared for things that may be unexpected to arise, and, above all, acquire good signage.

Sincerely,

Debbie Malewicki, MA
Director, Center for Learning Resources
Director, Peer Tutoring Program
Safe Zone Ally
116 Marvin K. Peterson Library
University of New Haven -- "A Leader in Experiential Education"
300 Boston Post Road
West Haven, CT  06516
Phone:  (203) 932-7415
Fax:  (203) 931-6013
E-mail:  [log in to unmask]

"Tutoring to Help You Blossom Into a Better Student”

Thought of the day:  “A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.”  By John Burroughs



-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jennifer Fasy
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2015 1:32 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Learning Center question

We have had a different experience in the library. We were put in the basement of the library in spite of  my protests. Our library has 2 stories above ground and one below. Since we are out of the traffic flow, we don't get any foot traffic or students who happen to see us and remember that they need tutoring. Just make sure you know where you are going in the library.
Fight for good space and big windows. It will make you or break you. I promise.

Thank you,

Jennifer I. Fasy
Central Region Coordinator
Tutoring and Learning Center Programs
Taylorsville Redwood Campus
LIB 028
Salt Lake Community College
Salt Lake City, UT 84123
Phone: 801-957-4138
[log in to unmask]
Fax: 801-997-4138

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