The Learning Resources Centre: Assessing and Restructuring Library Space



III. Community Profile

Statistics:

MacEwan South Campus College has an area of approximately 16,000 square meters. The LRC occupies about 8% of this area, or approximately 1300 square meters (Macewan). The college provides educational services for 1,700 full-time and about 600 part-time students. The average age for part-time students is about 30 years old and over half of the students are women. The facility has the capacity to seat approximately 2000 students, and in the coming years the college plans to increase the number of students attending South Campus. The first group of business and accounting programs will begin the transferring process in the fall of 2005. This will mean an increased volume in journals, books and reference materials for the library. Presently, the library houses about 3,000 reference items and about 12,000 books and videos. The library also subscribes to 70 journals and has about 200 journal titles in the stacks. During the regular school term, the LRC supports approximately 1,000 students per day and answers on average about a thousand queries per month (Appendix F).

In anticipation of an increased demand on library services a number of initiatives have been undertaken, including a major weeding project and an assessment of services, collections and resources. Data has been gathered informally, through appraisal forms and focus group sessions. This information has helped to highlight some important issues, the most recurring issue being the noise level in the library and the lack of quiet study space.

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User needs and Trends:

MacEwan South Campus is home to a number of social programs including Police and Corrections, Social Work, Mental Health and Rehabilitation Studies. Students in these programs are more likely to work in groups, use the computer services and audio-visual rooms, and generally prefer a more collaborative approach to education. Students taking some of the general courses offered at the college are more likely to use the library for research and quiet study space. The LRC also services a wide range of age groups, special needs students and faculty and staff. Furthermore, college libraries, and this LRC in particular, can experience a number of sharp demographic changes from year to year. Some programs at South Campus have been shifted to other campus, requiring movement of collections. In the past three years some programs have been discontinued some have migrated to other campuses and new business programs will be arriving at South Campus in 2005 amd 2006. Educational and technology trends also affect space use at the library. In recent years the library has began to provide access and service to students with personal laptops, a trend that is expected to continue and grow in the future. This trend is creating a need for more study space and a decrease in need for college computers.

With constant changing demographics, differing needs and new trends on the horizon, the LRC needs to evaluate its space use and service requirements on a regular basis. This study is probably one of many facility assessments that the LRC will need to undertake in the coming years.

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