Twain is rightly remembered as America’s funniest humorist. Even more than Will Rogers, Twain is there first with the best line, the funniest quip, the most exquisite jab, and on nearly every topic. I’m no Twain expert by any stretch of the imagination. But I did study with one, and my wife has forgotten more Twain than I have read. Even so, my experience of Twain is that sooner or later, regardless of how much fun you have with Twain at others’ expense, he’ll gore your ox, too, if you read him long enough. He makes this week’s post with the following: “There ought to be,” he said, “a room in every house to swear in.”
And now Dacus has seven. I’m not saying that any of our group study rooms are ones to swear in (and if we hear you, we’ll tell you to pipe down as librarians are wont to do). But these rooms will, at the very least, take your breath away when you see them. And I bet they’ll solicit at least one “OMG!” text from one of you.
We have seven group study rooms, as I said above. S-e-v-e-n, count them. Dacus went from one makeshift group study room to seven over the course of one summer. It’s what you told us you wanted and so it’s what we created for you on this floor. The rooms vary in size and variety of service. For example, two of the rooms are technobooth rooms and look something like the picture to the left. The idea behind these two rooms is to have a place for those students working on various projects to go over what they have before their presentations. Or, maybe a few of you just want to study for a test and need a monitor you all can see. Our technobooth rooms are for collaboration at the highest levels. These rooms are plug and play, so to say, and allow anywhere from two to eight in each room. Each room contains one 42” monitor and plug-ins via a table. We think you’ll find them most accommodating and useful.
Four other rooms are simply group study rooms for between two and ten. The rooms do not contain a monitor, but like all of the building, are wireless accessible. Whether you’re studying or typing a paper, these rooms are perfect for whatever research task you and others must complete together.
Finally, there is our last and largest room. It’s a large presentation room, complete with a smartboard and portable podium. We’ll hold this room for those groups who must use a smartboard but want to practice before getting up in front of a class. Or maybe a class wants to meet in this room. The room is large and capacious, capable of seating 15 comfortably. Again, like all the other rooms, it, too, is wireless accessible.
We will, of course, have staff on hand to assist anyone with the function of the rooms, how they operate, and how to operate in them. We’re still working out the kinks on how this will work, but these rooms will likely be “bookable” for a period of time during the day, just so everyone gets a chance to use them. After 5:00 p.m. or so, they will be on first come, first serve, basis. If we discover that too few are blocking the many, we’ll adjust accordingly.
We ask that you bear with us as we all get used to this new space. We can only plan so far. How they will work in fact will override what we have devised in principle.
I can’t tell you everything just yet about the main floor, but the rooms are beautiful and the design unforgettable. When you see the new layout, you’ll realize that the trailblazing legacy of Ida Jane Dacus (she was the first professionally trained librarian in the Palmetto State, Winthrop’s first librarian, and is pictured at the right) continues long after her death.
If you wish to help with these projects, please contact either me (via this post or at firstname.lastname@example.org) or our development office, specifically Nate Brinkley (email@example.com). We have numerous naming opportunities, as well as many other chances to make a name for yourself while you make our day. All contributions to our renovations also go toward our overall Distinction: The Campaign for Winthrop goals.