Dream becomes reality as the Bromfield Library and Information Commons renovation nears completion. Funded, in large part, by community donors through the But for Ohio State Mansfield campaign, the $3 million project is scheduled for completion in March, 2014, with a rededication ceremony in April.
Designed for community and campus, according to Susan Delagrange, Director of the Information Commons, the collaborative space fulfills traditional library and research roles as well as functioning as a comfortable informal area for faculty, students and the public to meet.
“We wanted to create a technology-rich open environment that was conducive to flexible learning,” said Brian White, superintendent, Mansfield Campus Plant Operations and Maintenance.
Shared by Ohio State Mansfield and North Central State College, the 23,000-square-foot space will include a library instruction classroom and six private group study rooms, as well as collaborative seating areas throughout the space. Faculty will have use of a media center with a sound studio to create multimedia for classroom use and distance learning courses.
A trio of help desks will also be located in the open-plan Library and Information Commons, says Pam Benjamin, Director of the Library, to assist students with reference, research, writing and technology questions.
“There’s nothing else like this in Mansfield,” said Dean and Director Stephen Gavazzi. “Our students will have access to the resources they need to help them succeed in college and beyond.”
Through a generous grant from the Richland County Foundation, planners also were able to include a high-tech learning collaborative classroom in the Information Commons. Gone are lectures from podiums; instructors will encourage team-based learning and problem-solving from anywhere in the classroom.
“The skills that are required for these activities are the most sought-after by employers,” says Joseph Fahey, professor, Theatre. This model of self-directed and peer-oriented learning is the new direction in higher education. It is the key to preparing our students to be leaders in their fields, their institutions and their communities.”