Libraries foster success – QualityMetrics in Fairbanks, Alaska
QualityMetrics proudly presents the work we did on the Rasmuson Library Student Success Center at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Our work there started before the pandemic and was concluded during the pandemic; the library is working actively to make the plans come to life and offer a vibrant space to the students on campus. Our work involved extensive research with potential partners on the campus to determine the set of partners that would be useful to bring into the library space. We studied the space with videos, photos, and virtual walkthroughs. Our team included design architects who emphasized that we can design the space without setting foot on campus which was what we ended up doing. Maybe not ideal but effectively carried forward during the pandemic and placing the library in the position to start work on the plans. Our report is available here and provides a roadmap for creating a Student Success Center in the Rasmuson Library (RLSSC). The top floor of the building has windows all around and is ideal for housing learning activities students enjoy participating in, enhancing their retention and graduation rates. The Rasmuson Library is a space students have positive feelings for. Students love the support they receive from the experts and professional librarians. They love the 23/7 study space and they are clamoring for even more such spaces. Many units on campus can be potential partners at the Student Success Center. Many student support services are spread throughout the campus and having a flexible way to make them more visible and well known is critical. The library can be the hub that serves that function. The Writing Center and Tutoring Services are active learning environments that would fit easily in the library. Such services are typically available to students after office hours. Other good fits include the Honors Program, Disabilities Services, and the Speaking Lab. Limited hour services can also be satellite or temporary service offerings in the RLSSC from other partner units across the campus. Flexibility is paramount as we bring services into the library building; we recommend a fluid organizational structure that is based on partnerships defined through well-crafted Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and a continuous commitment to collaboration and innovation. What we see as important services today will morph over the next ten years and beyond. We also worked on the renovation plan for the Noel Wien Library in Fairbanks, Alaska! You can find our report for that in this blog entry. Libraries changed during the pandemic, yet they are more important than ever as spaces where physical distancing and social solidarity enable engagement, learning, and community. Navigating the physical and digital library experience in tandem is what QualityMetrics focuses on.