Summer changes to Joyner Library

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Senior design major Patricia Pittman and junior industrial distribution and logistics major Patrick Mickey in the newly renovated area in Joyner Library. -Sara Showers | The East Carolinian

Joyner Library has undergone some major changes this summer that students will be able to enjoy when they return in the fall.

Joyner will now offer a new center for students with learning differences and an expanded Teacher Recourse Center.

Construction is almost complete for a new space for Project STEPP, or Supporting Transition and Education through Planning and Partnerships. STEPP is a program in the College of Education that gives academic support to students with learning differences, but are also capable of college-level work.

Ten students a year are admitted into the STEPP program and there are about 50 students in the STEPP program at ECU currently. They receive extra study skills training and in their freshman years, are required to spend 20 hours a week with a tutor.

“We are really excited about STEPP being here and we are going to be working with them to see how we can improve our services to the students in STEPP and then extending the same kind of services to as many students as we can,” said Larry Boyer, Dean of the Academic Library and Learning Resources.

When this area, called “The Learning Cove”, is not being used by the STEPP Project, it will be open to anyone at the library and provides Joyner with 50 extra seats.

Between 90,000 and 100,000 of Joyner’s stacks have been rearranged this summer to make room for a common area. The materials that were taken away from the 5,000 square feet, now dedicated to the STEPP Project, were either recycled or put permanently online for use, according to Boyer.

Eleven new study rooms have been added with plasma touch screens and wall-sized white boards. There were 35 group study rooms in Joyner before the new additions. Now, there will be 46. These expansions brought the library’s seats up to about 1,700.

The Teaching Resource Center, established in 1988, got a few new features this summer as well. The TRC serves as a resource center for students enrolled in the teacher education program and for educators in Eastern North Carolina. It contains children and young adult materials, K-12 North Carolina state-adopted textbooks, mixed-media materials and reference resources. It also has many resources for ECU faculty and people in the Greenville community.

The TRC has also been expanded to include a separate classroom, service desk and work stations that will allow students to work together more effectively. All of these additions to the TRC added about 50 seats. The service desk is now more visible to incoming patrons, and provides the employees more visibility.

“I came in the TRC on the first day of construction to work on a lesson plan. I didn’t really know where to start, so I asked the librarians at the desk and they told me where to go,” said Joseph Hodges, a student in the Masters in Teaching Program. “I love the improvements. You can get materials a lot faster than you could before.”

The TRC has also doubled its number of computers. The TRC instruction classroom, where over 150 library instruction classes were taught there last year, now includes a smart board. On nights and weekends, the instruction classroom is available to anyone who wants to use it.

“I haven’t really gotten used to the changes yet, but so far, I definitely like the layout of the desk. It feels a lot more spacious,” said senior, Elementary Education major, Mollie Dyal. “I also like that they added the presentation room. I think that’s good for anyone doing business or speaking. I also like that they did the renovations without closing. That way we could still come here.”

The Ronnie Barnes African American Resource Center has also been moved and enhanced with new booths for seating. In addition, power outlets have installed in the desks.

Another new feature to Joyner Library is the area of graduate student corrals on the second floor. These are able to be reserved for any graduate student for the entire semester and are equipped with a locked drawer for filing.

All of these expansions totaled about $500,000, which was not connected to this year’s budget.

“We could have only done this with the support of the administration and the Provost’s office, which provided the money to do this,” said Boyer. “The (money) was from one-time funding that was only available last year and won’t be available again. It was from savings and positions that the university was allotted but had not been filed. It was not from the university’s budget or the library’s budget.”

 

This writer can be contacted at news@theeastcarolininan.com.

 

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