SCSU’s Miller Center, A Library of the Future [VIDEO]
ST. CLOUD -- Many of us may remember the days of card catalogs, book check out slips and librarians shushing us to be quiet. Since that time libraries have transformed into central study hubs featuring much more than dusty books.
St. Cloud State University has been updating it's library (located inside the Miller Center) over the years to make it more attractive to millennial students. Interim Dean of Learning Resource Services, Keith Ewing says students want to be able to relax as they study.
"One of the goals of the building was to try and make it more comfortable," says Ewing.
Chair of the Learning Resources Services Faculty, Jennifer Quinlan says the library offers different cozy spots for students.
"We have a mixture of soft furniture, and desks and tables. I tell my students to wander around until you find the place that is best for you, that you are most comfortable," says Quinlan.
Quinlan says that many students don't get enough quiet time and the library offers that peaceful space they are seeking.
"They're living in a hall, they're in classes, they're busy, when I tell them, go to the third floor and find that table where you can disappear and no one knows where you are and you can be quiet and really focus on your homework, they need that too and they appreciate that too," says Quinlan.
Along with comfy chairs, students can also get that extra kick they need during study sessions. The library offers a coffee shop and students are allowed to bring drinks into the library.
Even with all the amenities offered, Ewing says many students choose to use the library from home.
"Nowadays it's much more self service, you don't even have to go to the library, if you want assistance from a reference library you can do that online, if you want to read journal articles you can do that online, if you want [a specific] book sometimes that's available online," says Ewing.
Sorting through all of that online information can be challenging for students. Quilan says students don't have do it on their own.
"It's like a fire hose of information and they have difficulty weaning through what they really need and what is essential to them. We might help them through our online chat service but we're still there to help them," says Quinlan.
Searching the web can be convenient but Quinlan says many students still prefer to come to the library, talk with staff and crack open a book.
The Miller Center features 16 group study rooms as well as student tutoring services. It opened in 2000, Centennial Hall housed the previous library at St. Cloud State.