1st Day @ Mortenson Center

Hurrah!! We are here at last!

Ten associates finally started our first day of the 2017 program at Mortenson Center, which will last until 20 June.

We met Clara, Susan, Emily, Rebecca, and other library assistants and got introduction of Mortenson Center. It was pretty impressive that this small unit has done that many global projects and keeps doing more so successfully! To me, it sounded like they are serving as a global consulting company in library fields, providing diagnosis and guidelines to where changed are needed.


Mortenson Center is located on the B2 Floor of the Undergraduate Library. The Undergraduate Library is built all underground, so it’s all you can see from the outside 😉





The Undergraduate Library





The B2 floor is a quiet zone, so  we need to be quite whenever we step outside of the center. But the other parts of the UG Library? It is allowed talk and discuss with your friends and you can drink and snack too. What’s interesting thing here is after the library allowed it and prepare more trash bins, it got much more cleaner because people don’t try to sneak food and hide them. (FYI, in South Korea library cafe or eating-allowed-in-the-library is the concept that will make most of professors and library directors aghast.)



Students can borrow laptops, digital cameras, recorders and more at the tech desk, and use related software to edit their media work. There are computers for media editing, audio booth, and what’s more, there is a real studio!



When I entered the studio I was so surprised because it was so real. (Even the wall was green!) Personally, I like camera and filming stuff so I am very looking forward to being here again for the videography session.



Well, I didn’t mention the above just because it’s different from my home country but I liked the idea that it’s a part of the library’s attempt to attract undergraduate students to it. We always want more students come to libraries but clearly we need more than good collections and instructions to attract those who are not very serious researchers. So I thought all these game console and tables, high-tech media equipment, movable furniture etc. are very appealing, and I assume the things I noticed here could possibly be new inviting factors  in SNU Libraries too, if applied well.



(I like Uggles too, the mascot of the Undergraduate library <3<3<3)




The Graduate Library


The undergraduate library and the graduate library are connected each other through a tunnel. It was remodeled last year and now is not only the access but the place that shows the university’s history and provides students with study and rest area.



Compared to the undergraduate library, the air of the graduate library feels more serious. It’s an old and beautiful, classic building full of academic resources. I liked the second floor very much where there are literature and language library and information desk. (I’ve always been fond of the high ceilings… hahaha)



I took the photo of the desk from the other side because it is prohibited to take photos with people’s faces, but there is assistance at hand. You can also find many PCs, scanners, and printers around it.



Behind the circulation desk there is an entrance to the stacks. It was huge and looked very complicated. According to what our library partners said, it was easy to see piles of books on the floor because there were too many book in the stack. Now they don’t have that kind of problem any longer since they built Oak Street Storage Storage Facility.



Unlike the undergraduate library, it is not allowed to eat or drink in the graduate library. It seemed inevitable to manage this huge collection without pest or contamination. Also, It was strongly encouraged to put the used books on book carts or designated shelves so that the library personnel can reshelve them in the right place.



There are also many other subject collection libraries. Each of them have reference materials, guideline leaflets, helping librarians and staff and so on. Actually there were so many department libraries but now there are about 20 after closing and merging process.



It was good to see and feel the differences between two of the UIUC libraries. To me it seemed that they clearly categorized their user groups and strategically serves the target. For some of them lighter and friendlier atmosphere is more attractive when others welcome more serious, research oriented one. In SNU, the library serves 20 thousand undergraduate students, 13.5 thousand graduates and 6 thousand faculty members. We do have subject based services and branch libraries, so it could be another good way to provide services and environments that each user groups are more satisfied with.



University Library, University of Illinois
Mortenson Center for International Library Programs



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