New director sets goals for university library system

Tisch Library this semester boasts a new library director as well as new technology, including iPads set to be available for student use later this semester.

Former Harvard Divinity School Library Director Laura Wood expressed enthusiasm for her new position.

“It was an opportunity I couldn’t resist,” she said. “I think that what Tufts is accomplishing as a university is really terrific. I’m excited to find ways [Tisch] can continue to advance its services.”

Wood’s goals for Tisch include improving the library’s collections and space, and facilitating student access to both, she said.

“Libraries are about conversations,” she said. “Being a librarian is about providing access to and facilitating those conversations whether they happened two hours ago, or 200 years ago.”

Head of Library Information Technology Support Thomas Cox feels that it is important for Tisch to provide students with new technology for use.

This semester, students can, for the first time, rent laptops from Tisch for up to four hours for use outside the library, Cox said.

These laptops will be accompanied by five new iPad tablets, which Tisch aims to purchase sometime this semester, according to Cox.

Cox said he is hoping to purchase iPad 3s, which are rumored for release between this fall and early next year. If the new iPad 3 is not available by the end of the semester, they may purchase an older version, he said.

This year, Tisch has also created a working group of four Apple enthusiasts to track new iPad apps as they come on the market, including dictionaries and other tools that could be useful for students, Cox said.

“The strides Apple has taken to make the user experience easier and more interactive are exciting,” he said. “We are always on the lookout for forward-leaning technology to augment Tisch.”

“When students think of libraries, they think of technology,” he said. “As new platforms for content come into play, we want to figure out how students use them and eventually provide them.”

Tisch circulation desk employee Josephine Herman said she was enthusiastic about the opportunity to learn more about using iPads.

“I think [iPads at Tisch] would be great for people like me who haven’t seen the appeal but are open to learning how they can be useful,” Herman, a junior, said. “It’s great that there’s that opportunity.”

Wood also noted that Tisch has increased its volume of e-books and will continue to do so in the future.

“The fact that many books are using e-publishing formats is very promising,” Cox said.

Tisch also contains a new Digital Design Studio (DDS), which offers students the resources to create academic multimedia presentations. The studio, located on the third level of the library, boasts six iMac editing stations, a presentation and recording room, as well as support for digitizing sources.

DDS allows students to become actively involved in content creation, Wood noted.

“It used to be that you had only packaged content [in libraries],” Wood said. “But that’s not the world we live in anymore. Students can generate their own content now, and I am very excited about the energy that surrounds that process.”

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