College Planning & Management

MAR 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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I MPACT O N L EARNING SOLVING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS, ONE PIECE AT A TIME DeLaMare Science & Engineering Library project SNAPSHOT PROJECT: DeLaMare Science & Engineering Library INSTITUTION: University of Nevada in Reno LOCATION: Reno, Nev. COMPANY NAME: MDC The DeLaMare Science & Engineering Library at the University of Nevada in Reno has become a hotbed of creativity and collaboration with the use of paint that has turned the walls into a dryerase board surface. WEBSITE: editor's REVIEW THE CHALLENGE There was a time when a library wasn't just a quiet storehouse of books. It was a vibrant place where scholars gathered to collaborate, discuss and explore. Today, that's what you'll find at the DeLaMare Science & Engineering Library at the University of Nevada in Reno. Under the direction of Tod Colegrove, Ph.D., MSLIS, this library has reinvented itself as a hotspot for creative thinkers who thrive in an atmosphere where creativity and ideas are as plentiful as the books. THE SOLUTION Approximately 20 percent of the DeLaMare library's walls are now covered in IdeaPaint, a high-performance, durable coating that turns any smooth surface into a dry erase board. It's a total of about 1,000 square feet of floor-to-ceiling workspace on 13 walls of the four-floor library. "The active process of learning is important, and it was our goal to turn the library into a place where new knowledge is created every day," Colegrove explains. When he first stepped into his role as head of the library in 2009, he immediately recognized a need for sizable whiteboard space that could accommodate the kinds of work done by science and engineering students. He first thought of gluing tile boards to the walls, but the university nixed the idea. When Colegrove heard about IdeaPaint from MDC — available in white, black and every color in between — he knew he'd found the answer. IMPACT ON LEARNING "The walls have become an incredibly collaborative workspace. It's a powerful tool because instead of spending time learning privately, these students are solving problems together. I've seen an incredible range of work and ideas on the walls — lots of organic chemistry and math problems, and of course the occasional fire-breathing dragon," Colegrove says with a smile. Clearly, the freedom to write on the walls is bringing out the creativity in everyone, and attendance at the library has skyrocketed. A place that once drew four or five people at a time is now bustling with several hundred students and faculty engaged in conversation and spontaneous collaboration. Some faculty members are even holding office hours at the library Chrissy Klenke, who graduated from the university in 2004 and now works in the DeLaMare library, marvels at the change, summing it up in one sentence that says it all: "It's the same place, but an entirely different space." IOL According to research, today's students prefer to learn in active, collaborative group settings. By providing wall surfaces where students can generate and share ideas and examine and solve problems openly and visually with others, the University of Nevada in Reno is offering students a powerful collaborative tool. The university is already seeing the results of this well-chosen solution, as attendance in the library has significantly increased. MARCH 2013 / COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT 39

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