September 3, 2003

Laptops for Loan At Mann Library

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As the Internet replaces the need for a repository of books, journals and periodicals, Mann Library is keeping up with this trend and reinventing library services to create an atmosphere for modern research and education.

Yesterday’s New Student Welcome and a program entitled, “Everything you need to know about Mann Library … in About 15 Minutes” were part of an effort to “get people to realize that there is stuff you can take advantage of by actually going to the library,” said James Morris-Knower, Mann Library publicity and public relations coordinator.

New services include things like book talks, exhibits and additional technologies. In all, the goal is to reshape the library experience so that it can provide an environment conducive to successful research, Morris-Knower explained.

The New Student Welcome featured baked goods, a band, door prizes and guided tours of the library. According to Morris-Knower, the Welcome was “to catch students when they first get here [by hosting] events they would be interested in coming to.” The Welcome aimed to develop awareness of library services and increase the number of library visits by students.

A visible step towards this goal of drawing people to the library is the appearance of many new technological devices. Mann is now home to 40 wireless laptops that can be checked out for two-hour time blocks, and will soon house over 20 new desktops. The new computers were provided by Cornell Information Technologies (CIT) to comprise a ‘virtual lab’ to make up for the lack of physical lab space in the library.

Some other computing technologies include a color plotter for printing posters and banners, CD and DVD burners, scanners with Optical Character Recognition which allow scanned documents to be treated as Word documents, Assistive/Adaptive Technology that aids visually and aurally handicapped users and a digital projector used for practicing Power Point presentations.

“Basically everything we do is in response to feedback we get from students and staff,” said Michael Cook, public access computing coordinator. For example, when lots of students are trying to complete assignments that require new programs and applications, the library tries to accommodate, he explained.

Hopefully as library-goers see more of their needs being met, they will make use of all that Mann has to offer. For now, student supervisor Peter Liebling ’05 said that not only do students recognize the technologies as new but also that the computers are, “really becoming used more and more.”

“The old AD White-style rooms might make you feel good about going to an Ivy, but when it comes to working you need something a little less stuffy,” said Charles Bradley ’05. If this sentiment is shared by many others, than Mann Library will always be full of students, researchers and other community members looking to learn.

tion] would be worth it to make certain improvements with Bailey Hall, although I don’t think they should totally modernize it; its pretty nice the way it is now,” said Christian Coerds ’05.

Though students generally felt the lack of performance space in Bailey Hall would not be too great of an inconvenience, many did feel that it will make an impact on daily life at Cornell.

“Although I only visited Bailey Hall once last year, I was impressed with its facilities. I think it will be missed by the Cornell community for its ability to bring lectures and musical guests to our university,” said Jamil Lawrence ’06.

“The atmosphere won’t be the same,” Hai-Ching Yang ’06 said. “Psych 101 would not be Psych 101 without Bailey Hall