Echlin construction forces classes to library

By on January 26, 2010

Students who previously took classes in the Echlin Health Sciences Center learned about equilibrium, so when Echlin classrooms on the first floor went under construction, it was no surprise that other classrooms would need to be created.

Charles Getchell Jr., director of the Arnold Bernhard Library, was given that very task. He received a phone call from the Registrar’s office last fall calling for classroom space in the library.

The Echlin Health Sciences Center is currently under construction in order to accommodate the Admissions and Financial Aid offices, which are currently housed in the Arnold Bernhard Library.  Now, the library plans to use that wing, as well as making use of the second floor computer lab this semester, for extra space.

The computer lab can seat 30 students and previously held work stations with their own desktops for the students’ convenience.

“It is important to know that we didn’t lose any computers,” Getchell said.  “They have all been redeployed to the CyberCafé on the second floor of the library.”

This also means a slight change for the library.  Since the room was previously used by librarians to guide some classes about technical services offered at the library, the librarians are now traveling to the classrooms instead.

“The librarians are still doing the same duties, but now they have a change of scenery,” Getchell said.  “When you have to deal with a change, you begin to realize that there are additional opportunities that come along with a change such as this.”

Classes currently in the computer lab include PO (Political Science) 245, International Political Economy.

“The (setting) has most definitely influenced our class because PO  245 is supposed to be discussion-based,” sophomore Ashley Fry said. “Being in this room really inhibits discussion.”

The room, theater style with raised desks, makes for a more effective lecture class, but not a discussion-based one.

“It is very hard to pose a question or make a comment to another student who is at another table on a different level,” Fry said. “I find it a complete inconvenience, especially when 25 percent of my grade depends on participation.”

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