Computer Lab and IT Staff Start New Chapter in NECC Library
Whether a student is researching and writing a paper on “Wuthering Heights” or wondering about connecting to campus wi-fi, assistance can now be found at the new computer lab on the second floor of the Bentley Library on the Haverhill campus.
The new 6,230 square foot space is designed to allow for immediate access to both the librarians and computer help desk staff. NECC’s IT Client Services team (formerly located in the B building) now permanently resides in this space, separated from the computer area by a full-length glass wall. This new space is a pioneering effort to merge academic literacy with technology, says Mike Hearn, director of library services at NECC.
“It seemed like a natural thing to do from a practical point of view,” Hearn says. “All academic and technical services are met at the same time at one location.”
The sun-washed space, with brightly painted accent walls, is home to 46 Dell computers and 14 Mac computers,
energy efficient LED lighting, two black and white printers and one color printer, three “huddles spaces” with circular tables and chairs for collaborative projects, a group study room (that is temporarily being used as office space), and a dozen upholstered arm chairs that provide comfortable seating for reading, studying, and relaxing.
Students sign in with their NECC student identification at the centrally located desk staffed by librarian assistant Fred Curty, assistant librarian Susan Leonardi, or the student assistant on staff. They handle all information literacy questions while just feet away, the IT staff is available for technical issues including the two most commonly asked questions – “What is my password” and “How do I access the Northern Essex wifi?”
“This new design streamlines and improves the student experience,” says Hearn.
The new computer lab space includes a separate 30-seat/computer library classroom that will be used primarily by librarians who teach the 125 information literacy classes each academic year. The front wall serves as a floor to ceiling writable surface while doubling as a viewing screen for two-overhead projectors that can be used simultaneously.
“My staff is very excited about having dedicated instructional space that offers two projectors so they can be showing a PowerPoint presentation on one side of the screen and pull up an outside source using the second projector,” he says.
A new location for the computer lab was the result of the upcoming, year-long renovation of the Spurk Building. In order to free up swing space for the displaced Spurk classrooms and offices, the computer lab and IT staff needed a new location. IT, the library staff, and academic affairs created the model that awaits the students, faculty, and staff when they return to campus Wednesday, January 20, for the beginning of the spring semester.
The computer lab is open 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Friday. For additional information, contact Mike Hearn at firstname.lastname@example.org