| September 4, 2018

180903_WorkshopIntro_1080x1920Welcome, new and returning students! We are thrilled to meet you and help you settle into Teachers College, our proud institution where “education is writ at large — the study of how people learn, and how they should be taught, in all fields.” A place of continual learning across many disciplines, mediums, and modalities, the Library is no exception… though it might be safe to say that how people should be taught can be up for interpretation — leading us to reflect on the teaching and learning process and how we strive to always make it better.

This year we decided to take an entirely new approach to orientation — one that veers away from the traditional lecture, and informally incorporates music, immersive technology, video, signed whiteboards, origami phone stands, social gathering, “x games” (experts and extroverts), brief tours, free books, and complimentary copies of Teachers College Record. Colorful high stools, soft seats, large screens, rugs, and plants furnish flexible, cozy spaces in the Smith Learning Theater where visitors gather and conversation flows over pizza and cookies. Did you expect our name tags to say things like, Ask Me Anything, Book ReaderHow-to Pro, Learning Theater Collaborator, Mobile MavenOxford Comma Evangelist, Power User, Python Master, Storyteller?

After a busy, productive summer, the 2018-2019 year indeed has landed! Here are a few new things we can share:

  • mobile application : you can search the entire catalog, reserve and manage study rooms, view your recent checkouts, and reach out to our librarians when you need some one-on-one assistance.
  • fully re-designed library website : you’ll experience a cleaner, simpler look that includes tips on relevant and insightful reads suggested by our community, as well as policies and guidelines on access, alumni privileges, payments, room reservations, signs and information, and privacy
  • new online support system : Ask a Librarian using a more sophisticated platform for virtual reference service where staff respond around the clock
  • new room booking system : it searches all available rooms to determine the best match for the needs described in an attempt to maximize the use of library facilities; assigns priorities; and utilizes a dynamic scheduling window
  • Offit Gallery exhibit, The 2018 Library Performance Revue :  a fresh look at administration, design, development, digitization, video, publishing, research, and services from multiple perspectives and vantage points through both team and individual displays
  • new library hours, including later openings and closings
  • new 4K screens to use with your device on the first floor

Here are some interesting takeaways from the Introduction to the Library sessions:

  • After a career in Bollywood, I came to Teachers College to study counseling psychology. I was inspired by the tradition of great psychologists who taught here (Edward Thorndike, Carl Rogers, Albert Ellis, to name just a few) and felt that studying psychology at TC would give greater meaning to my life.
  • After years in Minnesota, I was drawn to the milder winters in New York, rather than the continuing cold in Toronto where I could have gone to graduate school … not to mention the vibrant international feel of New York City which has always been appealing…
  • I taught English in Japan and want to pursue a career in International Education Development. I never knew the library had such extensive collections of children’s books and K-12 textbooks! My son is just learning to read and will love snuggling up with a book on the big bear!
  • As a visiting scholar from Brazil, I am here to learn about education policy and social analysis… and did not expect free pizza for lunch!
  • I am excited to begin the new (revived) program in Dance Education!
  • Give me a high-five at the Services Desk!

Be sure to check out the rhizr, Introduction to the Library, for detailed information about services and resources and good luck to all!