Saturday, March 02, 2013

Art students bring reference desk to life


You can get research help at the Library's reference desk, provided you can find it. That should no longer be a problem, thanks to the efforts of art students Kelsey Temanson and Emily Hultman and their advising professor, Jason Lanka.

We were aware that our nondescript reference desk caused  many students to overlook it as a service point. After shopping, unsuccessfully, for signage we liked, we had an idea. Several installations of student art had taken place in recent years in the library, making us aware of our students' talent and creative gifts. So we enlisted the help of Jason Lanka, Assistant Professor in Sculpture, in recruiting students interested in taking on the project for service learning credit. Kelsey and Emily stepped up to the challenge.

They met with the library staff to discuss the purpose of the desk, and the project evolved from the creation of a sign to re-envisioning the desk itself. During Winterim,  the students, under the direction of Professor Lanka, built the desk façade, and on Thursday, Jan. 17,  they hoisted the finished product onto two handcarts and wheeled it from the Haas Fine Arts building across the bridge to the library for installation.

The façade features the library logo, which was also designed as a student project several years ago. Response from library staff and library visitors has been overwhelmingly positive. The desk, once unnoticed  and overlooked, now serves as a stunning focal point for the library, as well as an  impressive display of student talent and collaboration. Come check it out!

Update: Check out the photos from our Reference Desk ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, March 1st! Also, see the News Bureau release about our new desk!

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