News from the Everett News Cafe

| October 19, 2015

IMG_1662While grabbing your coffee from the Everett Cafe before heading into the library, you may notice that the space looks different this semester. Gone are the newspapers hanging on the wall, instead replaced with a screen that cycles through numerous front pages. Where a small grouping of books used to sit, there is now an exhibit space featuring a special collection of books. As you stand there, waiting for that wonderful caffeine fix, you may be wondering what’s behind these changes.

This semester, Gottesman Libraries is thinking about how to best utilize all of our spaces to create better learning environments and ofter a more enjoyable library experience for patrons. For example, you may have noticed our new Staff Picks book display in the Second Floor Reading Room. Every month, library staff members will select a new assortment of books to display, centered around different themes. These books are there for patrons to browse during a study break or for those interested in the month’s particular theme. By creating this display, we can highlight certain parts of our collection that patrons may be unaware of and create a space for casual browsing. Every part of the library should be used for learning, exploration, and supporting our patrons.

That belief inspired the redesign of the Everett News Cafe. By redesigning the space, the goal of Gottesman Libraries is to enrich a highly-utilized community space with curated news and information that extends beyond existing library resources, as well as to experiment with, and evaluate, learning space design for the benefit of TC students. Content in the News Cafe should be fresh, engaging, timely, informative, and even interactive. The space should capture your interest and fuel your learning, regardless of whether you’re sitting down for a study session or are just waiting on the line.

So, what has been done to transform this space?

The newspaper display has always been a popular feature of the cafe. Before, library staff members would select six newspaper front pages from around the world each morning and print poster-size versions to display in the cafe. These different front pages gave patrons an idea of what was happening in the world on a day-to-day basis, not just from the perspective of major newsgroups like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, but from also from the perspectives of small town and international newspapers, such as the Cayman Islands’ Cayman Compass, South Africa’s The Witness, or Central Louisiana’s The Town Talk. Now, instead of print-outs we have a screen that cycles through a curated front page collection, including the TC Public Record and significant historical articles, such as articles about the opening of the Sydney Opera House. Plus, as the screen is larger than the print-outs it is easier to read the stories rather than just the headlines.

Another exciting feature of the new Everett News Cafe is the Special Collections exhibition space. Here, you’ll find a curated book collection that relates to current affairs, education, or learning environments. The current featured collection, Serious Comics, explores the relationship between comics and education; the medium’s impact on teaching, learning, and research; and the ways a comic can be used as a classroom tool. The collections features seminal works, texts focused on theory and education, and popular contemporary comics. The exhibit is curated by Benjamin Villarreal, Adjunt Instructor of College English and English Education, Gradate Writing Center Coordinator, and current TC doctoral student; Clare Nolan (myself), Gottesman Libraries’ Services Associate and local comic book shop employee; and Jihii Jolly, Innovation Fellow, EdLab Design Team. It will be on view until October 18th, followed by a brand new special collection to pique your interest.

And the Everett News Cafe transformation isn’t finished quite yet. Keep an eye out this semester for more changes to better your experience both in the cafe and in the library, whether it’s an all day study session or a five minute coffee break.