With the approval of two new residential colleges, the Social Science Library and ITS StatLab that once occupied 140 Prospect St. had to relocate to another part of campus before construction began. In the spring of 2011, after extensive faculty and student surveys helped guide the future development of a new Social Science Library, the Library-ITS planning group decided to merge the ITS StatLab and the Social Science Library together with the Kline Science Library in a newly renovated space at the Kline Biology Tower. The new library — named the Center for Science and Social Science Information (CSSSI) — opened its doors to students and faculty for the first time on January 3, 2012 to meet the growing needs of a modern information center serving both the natural and social sciences.
Co-Director Jill Parchuck commented that the new center has received “overwhelmingly positive impressions by students and faculty alike” since its opening in January of this year. “The Center features state-of-the-art collaborative spaces, group study rooms, public work stations equipped with multi-screen computers, and high levels of hardware and software offerings for student work.” Presentation practice rooms complete with video conferencing capabilities and easy-access librarian support across the major science and social science disciplines are also some of the highlights. Furthermore, the Center offers enhanced ITS StatLab services that provide research assistance on collecting and analyzing data, conducting surveys, visualizing data, and supporting statistical software. Parchuck is also excited for students to make use of the 24-hour study space immediately in front of the Center entrance. Comfortable table spaces and lounge chairs allow for collaborative group work and personal study. A digital exhibition space provides a multi-purpose display and information board for the Center, promoting events and programs across the natural and social science departments. Private group rooms adjacent to the 24-hour study lounge feature mediascapes that allow multiple computers to connect to a large main screen to facilitate screen sharing. Also available in these rooms and 24-hour study lounge are writeable glass and whiteboards. Parchuck reiterated that the space “encourages collaboration and group work, but there are also quiet study spaces in the stacks below for students who seek it.”
Additions and improvements are continually being added to the Center, including newly-added whiteboards in the 24-hour common study area and new bookshelves as requested by faculty members. “A video gaming night utilizing the digital exhibition screens is also in the works,” Parchuck added. Students and faculty alike can look forward to new events and programs hosted by the Center in the coming months. Parchuck also notes that the Center plans to grow in the future by adapting to the changing needs of the students and faculty who use the space. Parchuck highly encourages students and faculty who use the space to leave comments and suggestions for the newly opened Center; it may be likely that such suggestions are implemented in the near future.