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September 10, 2001

On Woodruff's fourth floor, the media is the message

By Michael Terrazas


In elementary schools around the country, the library is often referred to as the “media center.” This fall, the folks at Woodruff Library are taking that term seriously.

After being officially dedicated on Aug. 23, the Marian K. Heilbrun Music and Media Library is now open and ready to provide Emory faculty and students with a dizzying array of programming through a truly daunting variety of media. Housed on the just-completed fourth floor of Woodruff, the $2.4 million media library boasts state-of-the-art technology to accompany its ever-growing collection of material.

The media library, spread out over 17,000 square feet and lined with more than two miles of shelving, encompasses a new 18-seat Emory College Langu-age Center (ECLC) laboratory, an 18-seat ECLC classroom, two faculty study rooms, two group study rooms, the control room for Emory Television and a digitizing suite, as well as staff offices and student carrels and workstations. The facility will provide a permanent home for the media library, which had been housed temporarily in Candler Library since 1997.

“We were totally out of space in Candler Library,” said Joyce Clinkscales, music and media librarian. “These facilities were designed specifically for media library services and media library collections.”

The compact, moveable shelving system, designed with oversized shelves, were built with room for 10 years of collection growth, Clinkscales said, adding that she doesn’t have to send any materials to the library’s outside storage space, making life much easier for the faculty person who assigns the random or little-used concerto for required listening.

“This brings everything related to music and media together—prints, scores, the audio and visual materials,” said Joan Gotwals, vice provost and director of University Libraries. “I also think of it as another wonderful way to link the library and the Information Tech-nology Division—the digitizing suite is to be shared between the Music and Media Library and the [ECLC], and that’s a good focal point for collaboration.”

The language lab marries the capabilities of two previous labs, one located in Candler Library and the other on the third floor of Woodruff. Now language students can go to one location to find online language materials available on both Macintosh and PC platforms. Many of the materials are accessible from any remote location, such as a student’s residence hall room, but the lab features special language software and even computer games to assist in learning.

“We’ve got software that writes right-to-left for students learning Arabic, and another that suggests Chinese characters from words typed in phonetically,” said Jose Rodriguez, ECLC technology coordinator.

Rodriguez said the first class he turned loose recently in the language classroom used every one of its capabilities, including 10 wireless laptops connected to the Emory network, electrical and Ethernet connections at the base of the couch-type seating that lines the room’s perimeter, and the large-screen display. “Everything worked perfectly,” Rodriguez said.

Regular tours of Woodruff Library, of course, now visit the fourth floor, but both Clinkscales and Rodriguez said they have given orientation sessions for faculty groups by appointment.

To learn more about the language labs, contact Rodriguez at 404-727-9351. To learn more about the Music and Media Library, contact Clinkscales at 404-727-1066.


Back to Emory Report September 10, 2001