With the opening of the North Hall and Library on the campus of Bronx Community College of the City University of New York, the Bronx borough can boast of a library that bristles with the most modern means of distributing information.
The official ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for Friday, September 21, 2012 at 9:00 .a.m. North Hall and Library was designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects, LLP. Ismael Leyva, Architects, PC, are the project’s Associate Architects.
Technology dominates the vast central study area known as the “information commons.” Forty Apple Macs and 142 Dell PCs are conveniently placed around the room – and the entire North Hall and Library is wi-fied for those bringing their own portable media.
Adjacent to the information commons are 25 “Group Study Rooms,” where students can engage in collaborative learning just steps away from the resources of the library. There is also a full-sized library research classroom with 48 more desktop computers, where students will be regularly instructed in the mastery of all the hardware, software and databases housed in or accessible from the North Hall and Library.
Perhaps nothing better symbolizes the library’s dual identity than the two service desks on the second floor. At one end is the circulation desk, where students can check out the centuries’ old medium of books. At the other end is the new media desk, where videos can be ordered and streamed to screens in three of the group study rooms. iPads, laptops, cameras, and calculators can also be checked out here – indeed, students in some courses can borrow a laptop for an entire semester.
On the first floor of the North Hall and Library are fifteen classrooms. Every teacher’s desk has a podium that includes an LCD control panel for a wall-mounted projector that can display images to supplement lectures and lessons. There is also a document camera that can capture anything placed under its lens, from a page of equations for a math class to a rock sample for a roomful of budding geologists.
The classroom floor also has 96 laptops available for student use.
Movies and videos from the library’s online collection can be seen through classroom projectors – and heard through ceiling-mounted speakers. Indeed, with so much of the library’s wisdom available on any computer linked to the internet, students don’t have to actually come to the North Hall and Library to take advantage of many of its resources.
Does this point to a day when the brick-and-mortar library itself will be a relic of the past? Bronx Community College Chief Librarian, Professor Teresa McManus, doesn’t think so. “We used to talk about ‘libraries without walls,” she observes. “But it’s very important to have a library with walls. Our students need a place to study, to learn-to be.”
About Bronx Community College:
Bronx Community College of The City University of New York offers more than 30 academic programs that prepare students for careers and to continue their education at four-year colleges. Located on a 43-acre, tree-lined campus, BCC is home to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, the country’s first hall of fame. The College provides its approximately 11,000 students with quality academic programs, outstanding faculty, and flexible class schedules. Students at BCC represent more than 100 countries. For more information about Bronx Community College, please visit here.