The Hunt Library makes room for collaboration by keeping most of its collection of more than 1.5 million books in on-site storage, where they occupy one-ninth of the space they’d take up in traditional stacks. Out of sight, they’re still close at hand: the library’s bookBot can deliver any volume in about five minutes.
Flexible, inspiring spaces have been created in the areas vacated by the stacks. The Hunt Library’s 100 group study rooms have whiteboard walls and video conferencing technology that make them canvases for creative solutions. The graduate student commons features open study spaces and group study rooms, and the faculty research commons facilitates collaboration across disciplines.
The Fishbowl space features transparent walls that bring outsiders into the room and multi-touch displays that allow several people to interact with screens simultaneously.
The Hunt Library’s sharp focus on collaboration is part of a trend displayed across the shifting landscape of higher education.
“Instructors are assigning more team projects and encouraging group study to help students engage more deeply with the course content through collaboration, as well as to enhance their communication and teamwork skills,” observes Kim Duckett, principal librarian for digital technologies and learning.
Collaboration is just as essential to real-world problem-solving. The Institute for Emerging Issues, a public policy organization housed at the Hunt Library, brings people together around complex issues to ensure North Carolina’s future competitiveness.
The Hunt Library is located at the heart of Centennial Campus, a pioneering public-private research park that exists to spur collaboration. At Centennial, NC State students and faculty work with industry leaders to craft the innovations that will shape tomorrow.