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Reflections: Fant FaculTEAs I - Library Technology

by Hillary Richardson on 2018-06-21T08:33:00-05:00 in Theatre, Psychology & Family Studies, Culinary Arts, Art & Design, Nursing | Comments

Between March and May this year, we had the privilege of hosting 13 departments for “Fant FaculTEAs,” a time we set aside for dialogue about curriculum needs, research wish-lists, and all-around brainstorming about things the library can do, what it can provide, and how it can be in service to its academic community. We learned a lot of very valuable (and surprising) ways that we can be at the heart of the W’s pursuit of intellectual curiosity. In addition to learning more about campus needs in general, our goal in hosting these FaculTEAs was to identify specific needs that would affect many departments at once. To our delight, we discovered needs in different areas that we didn’t even imagine a possibility. In a series of blog posts, we will share those highlights! Up first: “Meeting our technology needs.”

 

Several departments were interested in the vast possibilities afforded by our 3D printer, 3D scanner, and the different filaments available. Art & Design faculty asked about getting clear wax filament for making jewelry molds; Nursing faculty mused at modeling skeletal and cardiovascular systems; and Theatre told us about their ability to invent objects for the office and the stage! Culinary Arts even surprised us with wanting to make candy molds with food-safe filament. As our imaginations carried us away, one faculty member noted that a single 3D printer would not satisfy the needs and the timeline of a class project with 13 students, so in addition to exploring different kinds of filament and their uses, we purchased 2 additional 3D printers to be more seamlessly incorporated into classroom assignments.

 

A common issue across several departments was access to affordable poster-printing and presentation software. While we knew that Nursing and Honors College students had to create posters for required presentations, we learned that Psychology students also have class assignments around poster presentations and Theatre students need a way to print and design posters for sets. To this end, we purchased both a Wide Format Printer and licenses to Adobe InDesign software for designing sophisticated posters and printed presentations.

 

Stay tuned for the next blog post, in which we discuss what online resources departments needed, what would meet those needs, and what we’re still doing to evaluate those needs.


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