School Planning & Management

JAN 2013

School Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the K-12 education market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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P R O D U C T S T H AT W O R K MDC {what's new & noteworthy} Library Draws Crowd at University T HERE WAS A TIME WHEN the library wasn't a quiet storehouse of books. It was a vibrant place where scholars gathered to collaborate, discuss and explore. Today, that's what you'll fi nd at the DeLaMare Science & Engineering Library at the University of Nevada in Reno. Under the direction of Tod Colegrove, Ph.D., MSLIS, this library has reinvented itself as a hotspot for creative thinkers who thrive in an atmosphere where the ideas are as plentiful as the books. It was a surprisingly easy transformation: they simply partnered with MDC and coated the walls with IdeaPaint. IdeaPaint, which is commercially sold by MDC (a leading U.S. distributor of wallcoverings and coatings), turns any smooth surface into a dry-erase board. Approximately 20 percent of the DeLaMare library's walls are now covered in IdeaPaint. It's a total of about 1,000 square feet of floor-to-ceiling workspace on 13 walls of the four-floor library. "The active process of learning is important, and it was our goal to turn the library into a place where new knowledge is created every day," Colegrove explains. When he first stepped into his role as head of the library in 2009, he immediately recognized a need for sizable whiteboard space that could accommodate the kinds of work done by science and engineering students. He first thought of gluing tile boards to the walls, but the university nixed the idea. Then Colegrove heard about IdeaPaint from MDC and knew he'd found the answer. Once it was installed, the change in the library's atmosphere was virtually immediate. "The walls have become an incredibly collaborative workspace. It's a powerful 40 tool because instead of spending time learning privately, these students are solving problems together. I've seen an incredible range of work and ideas on the walls — lots of organic chemistry and math problems, and of course the occasional fire-breathing dragon," Colegrove says with a smile. Clearly, the freedom to write on the walls is bringing out the creativity in everyone, and attendance at the library has skyrocketed. A place that once drew four or five people at a time is now bustling with several hundred students and faculty engaged in conversation and spontaneous collaboration. Some faculty are even holding office hours at the library. The students are, as Colegrove says, "wildly excited" about the technology. In fact, IdeaPaint has generated so much enthusiasm that the library decided to sponsor a wall art contest. The prize? An IdeaPaint kit for installation SCHOOL PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / JANUARY 2013 in the winning student's home. A couple of weeks after Colegrove installed IdeaPaint, the associate dean of the College of Science visited the library, and then the next day she brought the dean so he could see what was happening. "He wants to rip out the whiteboards he just installed in a new building on campus and install floor-to-ceiling IdeaPaint instead," Colegrove says. "If I had to name one thing that's been transformative in this library to date, it would be IdeaPaint," he says. Chrissy Klenke, who graduated from the University in 2004 and now works in the DeLaMare library, marvels at the change, summing it up in one sentence that says it all: "It's the same place, but an entirely different space." SPM WWW.PLANNING 4EDUCATION.COM

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