A new computer center at Temple is causing a splash, according to an article in the Chronicle by Scott Carlson. Though the majority of students using the center own their own computers, there still is interest in congregating in a place where they can work together and avoid the distractions of home (or the nuisance of carrying a laptop around all day). The center offers high-end technology as well as facilities for plugging a laptop into a display so that a group of students can work together – and a lounge with nearby food carts. Some students go there because the technology is better than their own. But what’s interesting is that for others the center has the appeal of the student-centered library.
Mr. O’Rourke [Temple’s VP for computer and information services] calls it a “modern-day library” and says he would have put the center in the library if there had been room. Students gather here in the spirit of library study, appreciating a quiet place to work around friends, and libraries have typically been the homes of these types of computer clusters. As it is, the TECH Center is across the street from the main library, and university officials fantasize about building an elevated walkway between the two.
Many libraries have found, with or without a physical bridge, that libraries are the place where books and computers – and people and knowledge can come together.