Thursday, September 10, 2009

Remarks from Schwartz Dedication

President Jo Ann Gora’s Remarks
This Complex has been described as an innovative, collaborative, and interactive space for teaching and learning.
Interestingly that description—innovative, collaborative, and interactive—really nearly parallels everything that we do at the University, from our emphasis on immersive learning, to our geothermal energy project, and from our emerging media initiative to our new core curriculum.

Bracken Library will always be the intellectual and symbolic center of our campus. And the Libraries’ staff takes very seriously its responsibility of preserving and sharing knowledge. But the methods of preserving and sharing that knowledge continue to evolve and change, even as on average 4,400 students use this library every day.

Since 2003, the focus of the University Libraries has been to develop and implement a plan that positions our Libraries for this new technological age, as a twenty-first century organization that is service-oriented, innovative, and both involved in the life of the campus and responsive to the surrounding community.

The staff has created, developed, adapted, and implemented a wide range of innovative and creative technologies, signature collections, and highly personalized services that support our students, faculty, and community. Today’s dedication is just the latest step in those efforts. The spirit that drives us at Ball State University to pioneer new ways of learning in higher education and to explore blossoming technologies is the same one that drives us to expand the accessibility of our Libraries’ holdings far beyond this physical structure.

Vice President Phil Repp’s Remarks
Today, we are standing at the symbolic and physical center of our campus—Bracken Library. This Library is part of that long and very ancient responsibility of preserving and sharing the world’s knowledge.

What is particularly exciting today is that we are witnessing the digital extension of a library’s historic role. Through the Helen B. and Martin D. Schwartz Special Collections and Digital Complex, this ancient responsibility is being transformed. Borrowing words from Michael Wesch, a leading expert on new media and social computing, this age-old responsibility is transformed into a “new media environment that is enveloped by a cloud of digital information where knowledge is made, not found, and authority is continuously negotiated through discussion and participation.” This aptly describes the nexus of our immersive learning and emerging media efforts. And this space brings that nexus to life.

Dean Arthur Hafner’s Remarks
This valuable resource will serve Ball State students and faculty in their research, learning, and creative uses of digital media resources and equipment. It is a unique resource, well designed and equipped for facilitating the development of emerging media opportunities for learning, research, and classroom enhancement. As you have heard earlier, there is no other facility on the Ball State campus like the Schwartz Digital Complex. Martin Schwartz and his late wife, Helen, have indeed been good friends to the University Libraries for many years, as this latest gift demonstrates. We are pleased to be the recipients of their generosity, and to be the home of this outstanding resource that serves as a legacy of their good will towards Ball State and its students.

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