University of Central Florida Libraries
10/23/2014
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Technology Fee Funded Projects

Knowledge Commons

Priority #1

Project Description

Funded

A 24,800 square foot learning and technology environment for students and faculty located on the 2nd (main) floor of the Orlando campus library, featuring seating and workstations for 479 persons. Technology, study & research, instruction, academic support, print and online resources all come together in this dynamic space. Design, furnishings and build out will be provided through a collaboration of Borrelli Partners Architecture, Herman Miller, Inc., and Wharton-Smith Construction Group. Attachment 2 contains a professionally prepared project package, including floor plans, space renderings, and images of furnishings systems. Key elements of the project include:

  • A 109% increase in PCs and an 82% increase in total seating on the floor, consisting of :
    • 196 desktop PCs, an increase of 102.
    • 116 seats with 110v power within easy reach to power portable technology devices. Seating will be in a variety of configurations: multi-person tables with PCs and swiveling monitors; booth style seating with PCs; single carrels.
    • 125 additional seats in differing configurations including multi-person tables with task lighting, and upholstered chairs with tablet arms. Tables will be designed to easily join with wired tables to accommodate large groups sharing a PC on a swivel.
    • 42 seats in lounge and soft seating style.
    • In total, two-thirds of seating on the floor will host either a desktop PC or be wired with 110V outlets.
  • Collaborative group study areas with dedicated access to PCs, featuring large screen monitors, smartboards and rolling white boards to enhance peer instruction and learning.
  • Attractive visual screening and acoustical treatments to reduce distraction and dampen noise.
  • Centrally located consultation stations for tutoring, research assistance, or consultations with teaching faculty, the University Writing Center, and academic support services. The combination of academic support services and librarian presence will create a one-stop experience for research and writing assistance.
  • All 479 seats, tables and workspaces will feature current ergonomic design to maximize comfort for extended periods.
  • Project costs include necessary upgrades to electrical and network infrastructure.
  • A new research assistance desk, updated Circulation desk, new flooring, new wall surfaces, and required code upgrades will be provided.
  • Space for the project will be made possible through the relocation of three-fourths of the materials currently in place on the 2nd floor. The materials that remain will constitute a core collection, and will double as visual and acoustical screening to break up the mass of space and create semi-private seating areas.

Student Access to Project Resources

  • Total number of students served by the project: All 45,194 Orlando campus students* and 1,061 Orlando campus faculty* can benefit as will other students and faculty when on the Orlando campus. The Orlando campus library traffic count was 1,358,824 persons for the 12 months ending June 30, 2009. Building usage continues to grow, as represented by a 9.7% increase from 2007/2008 and a 33.4% increase from 2005/2006. (* Source: UCF Office of Institutional Research. Student figures are those who attended one or more classes on main campus Fall 2009)
  • Percentage of target student population to be served by the project: Potentially 100%.
  • The Orlando campus library is open 105.5 hours per week during regular term, with extended hours for finals week. The typical mid-semester schedule is: 7:30am to 1:00am Mon-Thurs; 7:30am to 7:00pm Friday, 9:00am-7:00pm Saturday and Noon to 1:00am Sunday.

Benefit to Student Learning

  • University Libraries has conducted the LibQUAL+ student and faculty satisfaction survey annually since 2003. Over 90% of responses are from students. Frequent written suggestions for the Orlando campus library are (1) improve building condition; (2) improve study environment; (3) provide more and adequate PCs and seating. This initiative addresses these needs, providing what students are requesting.
  • During Spring and Summer 2009, University Libraries polled UCF students, faculty and administrators on their preferred library learning environment. In the surveys, meetings, and interviews included in this environmental scan, students and faculty consistently expressed an interest in improved collaborative study areas, improved access to technology, comfortable study spaces, and more PCs for individual and group use. This proposal addresses these needs.
  • Environmental scanning activities in 2009 included:
    • A July 7th charrette style workshop attended by UCF students, faculty and administrators. Student attendees included the president and the secretary of the UCF Graduate Student Association, the Director of Student Advocacy for Student Government Association (SGA), Burnett Honors College students, and graduate and undergraduate students. UCF Faculty attendees included representatives from the University Writing Center, Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL), Office of Undergraduate Research, Office of Undergraduate Studies, Burnett Honors College, UCF Faculty Senate, Student Services and Records, Office of Student Disabilities, UCF Computer Services and teaching faculty from several colleges.
    • A series of informal audio surveys of students around the Orlando campus in June and July, asking about characteristics of their preferred study environment.
    • An in-depth 45 minute interview on July 28th with McNair Scholars.
    • An August 19th follow-up charrette with participation from UCF students.
  • Benefits Summary:
    • More PCs will provide enhanced access to library information resources, more chat "Ask-A-Librarian" opportunities, and more guided instruction opportunities from librarians on site.
    • More wired group study spaces will facilitate technology-assisted collaborative learning.
    • More power outlets will enable more students with portable technology devices to access library resources via wireless connection.

Project Success Metrics and Assessment Plan

University Libraries has captured the following baseline data, which will be used to measure success:

  • Gate count for the Orlando campus library was 1,358,824 for 12 months ending June 30, 2009.
  • The University Writing Center, currently holding office hours on the library third floor, met 44 students for consultations during a sample week in Fall, 2009.
  • The Orlando campus library recorded 24,435 on-site user questions at the 2nd floor research desk in fiscal year 2008/09.
  • LibQUAL+ surveys reveal that students are expecting more from Orlando campus library facilities and equipment. The gap between “perceived” and “desired” has increased from .78 to 1.03 between 2002 and 2009. The wider the gap, the less needs are being met.
  • Usage of PCs in the Orlando campus library is monitored electronically, and exceeds 95% on the second floor most open hours. This will continue to be monitored.
  • Written comments from the LibQUAL+ survey indicate strong interest in improved in-building access to technology and improved study/research conditions. Written comments will continue to be captured and studied.

University Libraries captures these figures regularly, and will be able to show “before and after” data. Six months and yearly thereafter, a survey will be conducted among users of the new environment, and baseline data will be compared with current statistics to assess success: increased student satisfaction and usage.

Project Sustainability

  • PC hardware has an expected life of 4-5 years
  • Data conduit, network, and electrical wiring has an expected life of 10+ years
  • Furniture has an expected life of 15+ years

One of the advantages of this proposal is that it will not depend on sustained annual funding from the technology fee. The bulk of the capital outlay will not require maintenance fees or other recurring costs. University Libraries will cover minor recurring maintenance and eventual replacement of hardware through funding made possible by a statewide agency, the Florida Center for Library Automation.

Space Administration (SPAA)

University Libraries submitted a Facilities Improvement (FI) request June 3, 2009 to the Office of Space Planning Analysis and Administration. FI is attached. SPAA approved and routed the request to Facilities Planning, whereupon it was assigned a project manager and number #FI10002007. Planning and budgeting is being administered through the UCF Office of Facilities Planning and a library committee consisting of nine (9) library faculty and staff, chaired by the Associate Library Director for Administrative Services.

Last updated March 20, 2014 11:07:54 AM

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