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Marine Institute library expands resources

The newly redesigned Information‚ÄąCommons at the Marine Institute.

By Naomi Osborne

Students at the Marine Institute (MI) have more ready access to library resources this academic year because of a doubling of computer workstations in the Information Commons.

The redesigned Information Commons has expanded MI's capability to provide students access to all Memorial library electronic resources, software and the tools to complete their work in one place.

Catherine Lawton, head of public services for MI's Dr. C.R. Barrett Library, said there was a lot of collaboration going on behind the scenes to make the project a reality.

"We have long had a need for more computers. Before the expansion there were only 13 computers available," she said. "In addition, last year we had a student in a wheelchair who was having difficulty getting around the library. This made it clear to us that extra space was necessary to make the library more accommodating."

Once the project was approved this past spring, equipment and furniture were ordered, and, despite it arriving on time in the summertime, the project was put on hold due to some shipping delays.

"Our plan was to complete all the work on Labour Day weekend, but the carpet didn't arrive until September," said Ms. Lawton. "So the library staff worked in conjunction with marine and technical services and information and communications technologies (ICT) staff to accommodate students."

With the library commons down for nearly a month, the School of Fisheries opened up their advanced diploma room to students requiring computer access. The ICT staff reconfigured existing library computers so students could access their Desire2Learn courses and search campus libraries along with other tasks.
"It was the support of the marine and technical services, ICT and the Office of Finance's purchasing staff that made this a team effort and we are grateful for their continuous support," said Ms. Lawton.