SUNY Canton's Southworth Learning Commons Librarians Integrate Innovative Technology

Library faculty are using QR codes, augmented reality, video and podcasts to expand resources and engagement.

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CANTON, NY (07/18/2013)(readMedia)-- Posters can speak to SUNY Canton Southworth Library Learning Commons users through a mobile device.

Librarians have hung up placards around the library that automatically link to videos recommending reading suggestions. Visitors hold their mobile phone or other device in front of the displays to automatically link to the presentations.

Additionally, the librarians have integrated Quick Response (QR) codes in sections of the library to help patrons access online periodicals, research databases or an e-book service.

"Our exceptional librarians have been instrumental in enhancing the academic environment on this Campus," said SUNY Canton Acting President Joseph C. Hoffman. "Innovative projects such as this one are at the cutting edge of scholarly development incorporating the use of the latest technologies."

The librarians are using iPads for mobile access, allowing them to bring the library's resources into the classroom and locations around campus. They can access various databases to aid in research and demonstrate what the library has to offer.

"Our library faculty are helping more students from more locations," said Molly A. Mott, dean of academic support services and instructional technologies, who oversees the library.

Within the past few years, the College has supplemented their laptop loan program with an iPad loan program. Students can check out an iPad the same way they would a book to use within the building. "We've been able to expand on our iPad loan program in ways I never thought possible," said Michelle Currier, director of library services. "Fasten your seat belts, there is more to come."

Assistant Librarian Michael Magilligan has used available technology and software such as Apple's Garage Band, iMovie and the online resource SoundCloud to help students present their own scholarly work. He used this software to record student poetry during National Poetry Month.

Magilligan and Assistant Librarian Jennifer Whittaker recently presented their projects at the SUNY Librarians Association annual conference in June. Together, they taught attendants how to accomplish the mobile innovations. By the end of their presentation, the librarians at the conference session could make their own videos and podcasts using available, and in most cases, free software and web services. Their presentation was well received and other Libraries may look to SUNY Canton as a model for innovation.

"Our hope is that other SUNY Colleges and Universities can adopt similar strategies and enjoy similar successes," Magilligan noted.

In a recent Student Opinion Survey, SUNY Canton's Southworth Library Learning Commons scored highest for providing resources and services when compared against other SUNY technology sector colleges. The success was attributed to many of the student-centered innovations adopted within the past few years.

Photo Caption: SUNY Canton Acting President Joseph C. Hoffman recently recognized Southworth Library Learning Commons faculty for integrating mobile technology. Pictured are Assistant Librarian Michael Magilligan, Hoffman and Assistant Librarian Jennifer Whittaker.

About SUNY Canton:

SUNY Canton offers a variety of career-driven bachelor's degrees in addition to its associate and certificate programs. In the past year, the College added two new bachelor's degrees and expanded its facilities with a new athletic center, nicknamed Roos House, and the Grasse River Suites Residence Hall. The College's faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to their academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers flexible and convenient online courses and programs. The College's 14 athletic teams compete as provisional members of the NCAA Division III as well as the USCAA.