19 May 2010

And it’s happening in The Hive, a new student collaborative space in the library named by UQ first-years Tara Burton and Shaun Restorick-Barton.

Located on Level One of the Social Sciences and Humanities Library, the new collaborative space has been well-used since it opened in the first week of semester.

Each day it is busy with students using the new Apple iMacs, group tables with sound pods for listening to audio-visual material, and the large casual seating areas.

Browsers can find the latest journals and newspapers in the expanded reading room, a large, light-filled space overlooking a garden.

Liaison librarians are available to provide research assistance by drop-in consultation or by appointment.

The Hive’s mix of spaces and fittings are flexible and provide for both independent and group learning.

It also provides a space where academic staff can meet with their students.

Arts Associate Dean, Professor Fred D’Agostino meets with students in The Hive regularly and, together with the library, he invites his colleagues to do the same.

“We’ve learned, by asking them, that our students need a place where they can meet, where they can work in teams and also individually, and where they can get access to all the material supports for their learning," Professor D’Agostino said.

"The Hive is the University’s latest response to these needs.

"All the faculties teaching into the BA and other generalist social science and humanities programs welcome the development of this innovative and student-focused space.”

According to University Librarian and Director of Learning Services, Keith Webster, UQ’s libraries are the intellectual heartland of student life.

"While learning takes place in a variety of settings, it is most effectively supported and enriched in an environment that stimulates and fosters intellectual engagement," Mr Webster said.

He said today’s students regarded the Library as the place where they could undertake learning.

"They appreciate the scholarly feel of the place and they welcome the chance to work with each other whilst surrounded by the tools and products of both the print and technological age," Mr Webster said.

"It is our hope that this new space is a tangible display of how UQ Library will make a modest contribution to the learning process through the provision of excellent learning spaces."

The Library and the Faculties of Arts and Social and Behavioural Sciences joined forces to fund the refurbishment of this space.

If anyone still harboured any thoughts that libraries were only quiet, book-filled spaces they should check out UQ’s latest vibrant and crowded hub of activity.

Media: Tanya Ziebell (07 3365 6315, t.ziebell@library.uq.edu.au)