Marriott Library Creates a Digital Space


Kiffer Creveling

(Photo by Kiffer Creveling)

(Photo by Kiffer Creveling)
(Photo by Kiffer Creveling)

With smartphones, smart televisions and smart cars, the Marriott Library is getting on board with the rising digital trend and responding to the requests of students and faculty to have more digital resources.
Heidi Brett, director of public relations for the Marriott Library, said the library has many unique print resources such as manuscripts and a wide variety of volumes of books from every genre imaginable, but students still want more digital access to research and books.
“We did a lot of surveying last month where we asked students, faculty and staff about what it is they use at the library and what they want,” Brett said. “We’ll be using [results] to put together a new area of use for the library.”
In response to the surveys, the “new area of use” will be primarily digital resources.
“It was essential to get the input from the users of the library,” Brett said. “We did a lot of outreach from students as we did strategic planning for the library.”
Nathan Kemp, a junior in film and media arts, said using print resources is unfamiliar to him.
“I like online resources,” Kemp said. “It’s a lot easier, and I feel like today we have grown up in such an Internet age that I don’t even know how to do outside research. It seems that most of my professors say, ‘If you don’t know how to do something, Google it.’ ”
Converting and implementing more digital research sources for the U will allow the school to be greater as a whole, Kemp said.
“It puts the U ahead of other schools because being digital means that we don’t have to be on campus to access [resources],” Kemp said. “The world is quickly progressing, everything is becoming digital, hard copies are becoming rare. Keeping up digitally is the best to set us ahead of others.”
Students and faculty can expect to see the addition by next fall, Brett said.
“In January or February, we’ll be getting the data from the surveys, and we will be creating a strategic plan,” Brett said. “We’re constantly making changes, but in terms of the major strategic plan, we’ll be doing a lot of intensive planning in the spring and continue to make ongoing changes [next fall].”
Even with the Marriott Library heading in a more digital direction, Kemp said he still believes there is a place for printed resources.
“I think there will always be a place for printed stuff,” Kemp said. “There is a history and even a personalization that comes from a written book. The library should keep them and find a place for them because the old, valuable and sentimental collections have no reason to go away.”
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