The Hub: By the students, for the students

The Hub, located in GL's second floor.

Photo by Stephanie Mason.

Carlos Coba/Assistant News Director

As students approach the Information and Research Services desk on Green Library’s bustling second floor and make a left, they encounter the latest upgrade to the facilities: The Hub.

According to an excerpt of The Hub’s original proposal provided by Consuella Askew, associate dean for Public Services, it provides students with “high-powered multimedia editing and computer stations, easier access to laptops, e-readers, and on-demand research and technology support.” This excerpt is from FIU Technology Fee’s page, “Your Dollars @ Work.”

The project consists of two phases. Phase one introduced 32 Apple computers, 32 Dell computers and two media rooms for video and audio editing that will be completed by phase two. The first phase also added new printers and scanners, laptop-charging stations, an electronics check-out station and a technical support center.

The second phase will add 30 more computers, as well as introduce laptops, iPads and other types of tablets. The two multimedia rooms will also be revamped with Apple and Dell devices.

Genevieve Diamond, circulation manager at the Green Library, said rooms will be available for students to reserve up to two weeks in advance.

Library faculty and administration think that the addition of desktops, laptops and tablets will provide students with more computer access than previously available.

“On a good day, when all the computers were working, there were about 45 to 50 available computers,” said Marissa Ball, emerging technologies librarian and one of the two principal investigators of the project. “Once phase two is finished, there will be almost double that amount.”

The Hub’s funding is a result of two technology fee proposals submitted by the library through the Technology Fee Advisory Council that “amount to over a million dollars,” said Ball.  The Hub is the product of a collective effort between outside vendors and various departments within the University and the library, such as the Information Resource Services Department, Access Services, Library Systems, and Academic Space Management.

“The library has been proactive by putting forward proposals through the [Technology] Fee Advisory Council,” said Ball. “The committee that reviews those proposals has encouraged us to be innovative in enabling students’ research and study habits via the [technology] fee.”

The technology fee payment amounts to 5 percent of every student’s tuition, as stated in the FIU Technology Fee website. This means that all students were involved in advancing this project.

However, some students got to contribute in more creative ways.

About two years ago, when The Hub was still in the planning stage, the library did a collaboration with an interior design class at the university, according to Ball. The students in this class had the opportunity to organize into focus groups that executed “used-space studies” in order to design what their ideal library would look like. Out of the seven designs that were ultimately submitted, several components of each were incorporated into The Hub’s design.

[pullquote]“[The Hub] was done by students and paid for by the students,” said Ball.[/pullquote]

 Current students feel like their financial investment in The Hub is paying off.

“The Hub is an excellent resource to the FIU community,” said Sebastian Schlumpf, environmental studies junior.

“If I plan to study, I will definitely come here to do it,” said Daniel Sippin, an undeclared junior, “But it may be tricky to find a seat because it’s so busy.”

Library personnel hopes that The Hub is even busier by October, when the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled, considering both phases of the project will be complete by then.

“This is for the students and I want them to know that it’s here,” said Diamond. “I want them to come and use it because they paid for it.”


About the Author

Carlos Coba
Assistant News Director of FIUSM. Political Science/ International Relations 2ble major, Journalism minor, Latin American and Caribbean Studies certificate.

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