Friday, August 25, 2017

Library Technology Center, University of North Georgia Libraries, Dahlonega Campus in the Spotlight!

The Library Technology Center (LTC) opened in the fall of 2008. Almost ten years after opening, changing student needs and the consolidation of two institutions into the University of North Georgia have transformed the original LTC in many ways.

Service points, resource locations and student work space changed for the better. Originally two service desks located on the first floor (one for reference and one for circulation) combined to make a single service point staffed by a librarian and an access services staff member. Two years ago this staffing model changed to have only one person on the desk at a time. To prepare, Access Services staff received training in answering basic reference questions and librarians were trained to handle circulation transactions. Librarians remain on call for more in-depth research assistance if needed. Enhancements were made to the lobby, a space accessible 24/7 to the UNG community by swipe card, allowing evening hours shortened. Carrels were added for individual study space. Several white boards were installed as well as an ATM and school supply/snack vending machine. Improvements to the third floor were made by moving two stand-alone circulating collections (juvenile and strategic language materials) to the second floor which resulted in all circulating materials being located on a single level. Current periodicals moved to the first floor, adjacent to the bound periodicals and reference collection. All shelving was removed from the third floor making way for additional tables and seating, providing more space for students to work alone or in groups.

When the institution went through consolidation, the need to work globally over four campuses meant changes for personnel. A Technical Services department, responsible for managing and facilitating technical services for all UNG Libraries is located in the LTC. Additionally librarian positions at the two largest campuses, Gainesville and Dahlonega, were elevated to collection management positions and are responsible for overseeing the selection and purchasing of resources for all UNG Libraries. As the institution has grown, the need for copyright expertise also grew. What was formerly a part-time library assistant position became a full time copyright officer, able to advise all departments of the institution in regards to copyright and fair use. In 2013, UNG added the Digital Initiatives and Special Collections Librarian with the position responsible for the digital repository, archives and special collections for all UNG Libraries. With the addition of this position the libraries have grown and developed special collections that support not only the two previous institutional histories but also document the histories of the local communities that UNG serves. These collections include the Bruce Collection, comprised of nineteenth-century negatives by local photographer Lon Bruce, and the Alumni Collection which contains materials donated to North Georgia College and State University and the University of North Georgia by alumni. Additional space in the LTC has recently been identified to become office and storage for special collections and will enable even more growth in this area.

Over the last nine years, driven by the strong desire to serve the UNG community, especially the students, the Library Technology Center has grown and improved upon the original to create an even more inviting and welcoming space for all.

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