Month: July 2014

Other Libraries on Campus

Though IC only has one dedicated library (this one, Schewe Library), we occasionally get questions about the “other libraries” on campus.  For reasons of signage, this is an entirely understandable question.  In fact, if you went by campus signage alone, you’d think IC had three libraries in operation.  Let’s talk about the two “false libraries” for a moment.

The first “false library” on campus is to be found in Tanner Hall, which, in spite of its exterior signage (“Tanner Library”), is not in any way a library.  Confusing, yes, but at one time accurate.  Tanner Library was IC’s first Library, and was initially constructed for IC’s Centennial in 1929.  Though Tanner Hall now houses IC’s Administration and various sub-departments, the building ceased to be a base of library operations in 1973 with the construction of Schewe Library.  For reasons not entirely known — though surely not ones of practicality — the building’s existing signage was retained.

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The second “false library” is the Khalaf al Habtoor Leadership Library, located in Whipple Hall.  As succinctly stated in the Illinois College Catalog 2014-2015, the “Khalaf Al Habtoor Leadership Library supports the programming of the Khalaf Al Habtoor Leadership Center… The Library also features artifacts from Abraham Lincoln and Edward Beecher (p. 187).”  Practically, the Khalaf al Habtoor Leadership Library is a conference room, with a select number of publications which feed into the mission of the Leadership Center, and which also contains the aforementioned items from Lincoln and Beecher (amongst them, Lincoln’s law library couch).  What material the Leadership Library has does not circulate.

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And that, briefly, is the story of IC’s two pretenders to the Library crown.  Let there be confusion no more!

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Construction!

Though we’d sometimes have you think differently, libraries are very much the quiet and contemplative places you imagine them to be.  True, the past couple of decades have seen libraries getting louder, but for communal spaces, we’ve still got a remarkably quiet vibe around us.  Much in keeping with this, Schewe is typically quiet during the summer; our students are gone, the faculty are off on research forays, and the staff are busy maintaining campus.  This summer, however, Schewe is sporting two separate construction projects, both of which are adding some decibels to the otherwise somnolent air of the place.

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The first project involves a renovation and relocation of the Illinois College Archives and Iver F. Yeager Special Collections (soon to be re-named the Khalaf al Habtoor Archives at Illinois College, in honor of a generous donation from Emirati businessman Khalaf al Habtoor).  The Archives will soon live on Schewe’s first floor, and between the drilling, hammering, and sawing you can almost hear that beautiful, archival silence.  But not yet.  For those interested, you can follow the Archives’ reconstruction  at Assistant Professor of History Jenny Barker-Devine’s blog at IC Time Capsule.

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The second construction project underway at Schewe is our Digital Learning Center (DLC).  The DLC is a bold new venture for the Library, and straddles an interesting space between high-technology, production platform, and Library-supported instructional venture.  The DLC will, in the best of worlds, support forward-looking multimedia projects through a combination of state-of-the-art equipment, knowledgeable support workers, and faculty buy-in.  It touches on issues of pedagogy (allowing students to explore new technologies in an active, constructivist manner) and professional preparation (developing digital skills which will be marketable to employers, grad schools, etc.).

With a little luck, both projects should be complete by the Fall, 2014 term.  Fingers crossed!