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PALNI Awards Two Library Innovation Grants for 2018

Two proposals received PALNI Library Innovation grants in 2018, one from Franklin College focusing on wellness and one from Butler University focusing on Augmented Reality (AR). The grant supports initiatives that optimize library resources and services in ways that significantly expand the ability of supported organizations to support teaching and learning at PALNI institutions. Funded programs, projects, and initiatives must align with PALNI strategic priorities and support PALNI deep collaboration.

Denise Shorey, Director of Franklin College's Hamilton Library, received a grant to transform a current spot on the library's first floor into a de-stress and collaborative zone called The Lounge for students, faculty and staff. The students will be able to express themselves in this area with low-tech materials such as coloring books, jigsaw puzzles and games, which have been shown to promote mindfulness and stimulate creativity. Those seeking a different type of stress release, or who want to explore new technologies, can enter a world of virtual reality using handheld viewers. Others may want to share their experience by using a system that allows others to view their activity on a monitor.

"This space will be especially helpful to first-year students who often experience anxiety when starting college. Its location puts visitors near other library resources that will also help them develop resilience," said Lori Schroeder, provost and dean of the college.

Denise Shorey, director of library services said, "Academic libraries play a different role today. Our mission is still to connect people and information, but we also recognize that the library serves as a social space for students to connect with each other or to study alone. Supporting overall wellness is merely an extension of that."

The Butler University Libraries received the second grant to develop an augmented reality (AR) experience. Kristen Allen, Administrative Specialist, Center for Academic Technology and Sally Neal, Associate Dean for Instruction and User Services will lead the project focused on student interactions with library resources and faculty. They will be partnering with Mary Hinds, Sr. Instructional Designer. The proposed AR experience will integrate active learning into library instruction and will provide students with real-time information regarding the library spaces they are viewing.

To create this student AR experience, the Library will develop and pilot an app with First Year Seminar (FYS) classes. Typically, the Library conducts library instruction sessions in most of the FYS classes, so the AR app experience and learning will be compared to the traditional direct instruction currently used. Jennifer L.W. Fink claims that "Generation Z lives online" and this new generation of students needs information presented visually (Virtual Reality, 2017). The Library will survey students in both instructional styles to determine if there is a significant difference in learning and/or engagement.  

The AR app will function similarly to a scavenger hunt game; in order to move onto the next step of the app, students will be required to complete a specific task. To encourage collaboration, groups of three to five students will be given one iPad with the app and will be asked to complete the challenge together.


About Franklin College:
Franklin College is a liberal arts college in the Indianapolis metropolitan area, about 20 miles from downtown Indianapolis. Our small class size allows students to thrive through personal interactions and individual mentorship. In addition, our liberal arts curriculum offers transformative opportunities that translate into empowered perspectives and real-world jobs. Our professors, faculty-advocates, challenge students to stretch beyond easy answers and become leaders in their fields. At the end of the day, we are self-motivated lifelong learners who relentlessly pursue the best in ourselves and in our community. For more information, visit Find Franklin College on Facebook and follow @FranklinCollege on Twitter.

About Butler University:
Located in the heart of the Indianapolis Butler-Tarkington neighborhood, Butler University seeks to provide the highest quality of liberal and professional education and to integrate the liberal arts with professional education, by creating and fostering a stimulating intellectual community built upon interactive dialogue and inquiry among students, faculty, and staff. In 1855  attorney and abolitionist Ovid Butler founded the school on the principle that everyone deserves an excellent education, regardless of race or gender—a bold idea in pre-Civil-War America. Today, we've built on Butler's vision to create a community of students and faculty that learn by doing—a community that values hard work as an essential building block for success, whether in the classroom, on the field, or out in the world. Butler University is the only Midwest Regional University to earn the U.S. News designation as Most Innovative School, according to the magazine's 2018 rankings. For the eighth consecutive year, Butler ranks No. 2 overall among 171 Midwest Regional Universities. Butler is also recognized among the best in the nation for four co-curricular programs that enhance the educational experience for students. For more information, visit Butler University online.