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Technology to the library

The ETC on its way to Zondervan Library this summer

By Ally Horine | Echo

The Educational Technology Center (ETC) is changing its location this summer. It will be moving from its current home on the first floor of the Reade Center to Zondervan Library.

According to Vice Provost Jeff Groeling, the initial motivation for the move of the ETC was to provide more space for academic programs housed in Reade.

“The completion of the Euler Science Complex made it readily apparent that the classroom, departmental and faculty office spaces were inadequate in comparison to those in Euler,” Groeling said.

One of the main concerns is the lack of departmentally-oriented student gathering spaces in Reade. Euler has a space for each department, while Reade has none. Planning conversations with academic departments have occurred to provide gathering places for the departments Reade currently houses. The idea is for the ETC space to be redesigned to provide this opportunity for those departments.

The ETC will have a new home beginning in fall 2014. (Photograph by Luke Lines)

The ETC will have a new home beginning in fall 2014. (Photograph by Tabitha Hillebrand)

Plans for the current ETC space are still unclear, but will continue to be developed over the summer.

To prepare for this change, Zondervan will be moving around some of the bound periodical collection on its main floor. The goal is to change their support services by shifting from a print-dominated model to one with a digital focus. Repurposing other existing structures will provide the rest of the space needed.

“I think moving the ETC to the center of campus will enable them to be more accessible to the student body,” said sophomore Austin Friesen, current ETC student worker. “Like most changes, it will probably take some time to adjust to the new location and system. I think overall it will go smoothly due to the planning of the ETC staff.”

The location of the Library and ETC should provide more opportunities for collaboration in teaching, learning and research, as well as create more efficiency overall, due to the reduction of services that were in both locations.

These changes to the library should also make more study rooms available to students, along with furniture that should be more flexible for collaborative use. Over time, students should also see more learning and research support from staff in the library.

“Our hope is that by locating ETC, Helpdesk, instructional designers and librarians in the same space, we will be able to serve our constituents better,” Groeling said.

Funding for this process has been raised by strategic services, and the overall cost is not expected to exceed $340,000. The center will be open for the fall of 2014.

(Thumbnail photograph by Luke Lines)

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