Throughout the semester, the dean of library services, Megan Brooks, has been working diligently to improve the Wallace Library. Physicals changes include “lovely windows that let in the light from the stair tower – the atrium is much brighter than it used to be. The library worked with facilities to have several small windows, called vision kits, installed in the doors around the library. These windows make the spaces beyond more welcoming and prevent people from accidentally opening the door into others,” said Brooks.
In addition to installing new windows, the library has partnered with Wheaton’s Permanent Collection to have several pieces of artwork installed in the Woolley Electronic Classroom (WEC). Brooks noted that “the artists include Betty Thompkins and alums Nancy Hemenway Barton, ’41, Emma Garcelon, ’18, and Walker Downey, ’13.” Additionally, the Cole portraits have been relocated from the library entrance to the marble stairwell. New artwork was installed on April 4 where the Cole portraits were originally displayed.
Not only has new artwork been added, but displays are also scattered around the library, showing off featured books and information. “The first display is on the data of everyday life, which includes visual representations of library data and cool 3D print outs of personal data generated by some of our staff,” said Brooks. The second display, located in the main entryway, features books on a variety of topics that change at least once every semester. Brooks encourages students to borrow any of the books on that display.
Regarding new services, Brooks explained that “the library is running a pilot project with reserves this spring. Library staff worked with the campus bookstore to get a list of all required books for courses, purchased them if weren’t already in the collection, and put them on reserve automatically.” Brooks describes that the pilot is to “foster faculty adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) in their courses.” However, most professors are unable to teach with OERs due to the impracticality of the content of their courses. The library staff will determine if the pilot will run in the fall. Brooks already has plans for making changes to the library over the summer. “The first is to continue upgrading spaces in the library,” said Brooks. She then plans to “migrate selected library services from locally-hosted web servers to an integrated cloud service that’s modern-looking, functional, mobile-friendly, and accessible.” They will pilot and make decisions for the project in April and May. They will then setup and test modules during the summer; making the project ready by the fall.