Murrell’s Library of the Future is Taking Shape

June 5, 2024
Missouri Valley College

Samantha Perkins
The changes taking place at Missouri Valley College’s Murrell Library are transformational. And Library Director Samantha Perkins is orchestrating every bit of it.

The first phase of changes, Perkins said, happened in 2023 with the opening of the Reading & Writing Center, the Math Center, study tables, and collaboration with the Learning Center. And in the spring came the incorporation of the Learning Center into the library. 

“Our overall mission is to create a one-stop shop for our students’ academic service needs,” Perkins said. “We did so many things so quickly that we need to focus on clear and accurate communications now.”

Perkins said that data shows the Reading & Writing Center, Math Center, and Study Tables were well-received and are accomplishing their goals with well over 1,000 student sessions. She said that study sessions by sports teams, while important for bonding, sometimes turn to social and that this change provides more organization and offers on-site student assistance via our academic coaching program. We are able to track all of the data and communicate that to each of the athletic coaches.

The Learning Center move was to “get us all on the same page and under the same umbrella,” Perkins said. We are combining all academic services into one building–our various academic coaching services, testing services including ADA proctoring, and library services will all be housed under one roof.”

Perkins said the second phase is just around the corner. She said it will include minor construction on the second floor, to create office, testing, and conference spaces, as well as a private study room for students.

To support the success of all faculty and staff contributing to the academic mission of Missouri Valley College, the final phase will be our biggest step into the future with the creation of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. We will advance institutional leadership through holistic, experiential learning and educational development by providing:

  1. support for student learning needs;
  2. opportunities for collaboration and exchange of ideas among faculty, staff and students;
  3. events designed to explore and disseminate best pedagogical and andragogical practices;
  4. programs that foster productive feedback about all aspects of teaching and learning;
  5. professional development for staff and faculty in support of their work at MVC;
  6. initiatives that dovetail with efforts of other on-campus programs to support faculty, staff and student development.

Perkins said there will be new furniture and new technology, including a new mirrored, glass wall and an observation deck to establish a gallery/viewing area.

“This will be perfect for flipping roles,” Perkins said. “It will be next level teaching and learning.”

There will also be a new Makerspace created in the old computer lab, featuring a GlowForge, 3-D printers, Cricut machines, and PCs and iMacs with Adobe software.

“We surveyed students about their wants and needs and this was high on their list,” Perkins said. “I’m excited about the Makerspace – it elevates our campus and our community. All of our efforts are moving us rapidly toward the library of the future.”

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