Looking Forward: Planning for the Marine Institute Library of the Future
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Looking Forward: Planning for the Marine Institute Library of the Future. By Catherine Lawton BN, MLIS Dr. C.R. Barrett Library – Marine Institute Memorial University of Newfoundland. City of St. John’s, NL Canada Harbour.

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Looking Forward: Planning for the Marine Institute Library of the Future

By Catherine Lawton BN, MLIS

Dr. C.R. Barrett Library – Marine Institute

Memorial University of Newfoundland


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City of St. John’s, NL Canada of the FutureHarbour


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The Marine Institute is a world class centre for advanced marine technology and education. Affiliated with Memorial University of Newfoundland, it has a mandate to provide education and training in all aspects of fisheries and marine technology


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  • MI has 3 schools: marine technology and education. Affiliated with Memorial University of Newfoundland, it has a mandate to provide education and training in all aspects of fisheries and marine technology

  • School of Fisheries

  • School of Maritime Studies

  • School of Ocean Technology


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  • School of Fisheries marine technology and education. Affiliated with Memorial University of Newfoundland, it has a mandate to provide education and training in all aspects of fisheries and marine technology

  • Advanced Diplomas (Postgraduate)

  • Sustainable Aquaculture

  • Coastal Zone Management

  • Food Safety

  • Water Quality

  • Technology Diploma (3yr)

  • Food Technology

  • Marine Environmental Technology

  • Technical Certificate (1yr)

  • Quality Assurance

  • Professional Fish Harvesting


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  • School of Maritime Studies marine technology and education. Affiliated with Memorial University of Newfoundland, it has a mandate to provide education and training in all aspects of fisheries and marine technology

  • Technology Diploma (3yr)

  • Marine Engineering Systems Design

  • Marine Engineering Technology

  • Naval Architecture

  • Nautical Science

  • Technical Certificate

  • Firefighting

  • Bridge Watch Program

  • Vocational Certificate

  • Marine Diesel Mechanics

  • Offshore Structural Steel Plate Fitters


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  • School of Ocean Technology marine technology and education. Affiliated with Memorial University of Newfoundland, it has a mandate to provide education and training in all aspects of fisheries and marine technology

  • Joint Diploma of Technology/Bachelor of Technology – Ocean Instrumentation (4 yr)

  • Technical Certificate (9 month)

  • Remotely operated vehicles (ROV) operator


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  • 5 Centres: marine technology and education. Affiliated with Memorial University of Newfoundland, it has a mandate to provide education and training in all aspects of fisheries and marine technology

  • Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development (C-ASD)

  • MI International

  • Offshore Survival and Safety Centre (OSSC)

  • Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources (C-SAR) – home of the world’s largest flume tank

  • Centre for Marine Simulation – 6 modern simulation facilities including Full Mission Bridge Simulator


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Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development marine technology and education. Affiliated with Memorial University of Newfoundland, it has a mandate to provide education and training in all aspects of fisheries and marine technology

On the left row are fresh water tanks and on the left are salt-water


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Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development marine technology and education. Affiliated with Memorial University of Newfoundland, it has a mandate to provide education and training in all aspects of fisheries and marine technology

Salt water tanks – brick is holding down a basket to prevent sea cucumbers from clinging to filtration system. In background is an incubator for growing algae for feed.


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Flume Tank at Marine Institute marine technology and education. Affiliated with Memorial University of Newfoundland, it has a mandate to provide education and training in all aspects of fisheries and marine technology

The test section is 8m wide x 4m deep x 22.25m long (the water level may be changed from 4m to 3m depth). These dimensions make the tank the largest flume tank of its type in the world.


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The Dr. C.R. Barrett Library collection at Marine Institute supports study and research in fisheries and aquaculture, marine technologies, nautical science and the ocean environment. The collection also includes significant holdings in engineering.


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As part of Memorial University of Newfoundland, the library has access via intercampus loans to a large collection in the main campus library : the Queen Elizabeth II library as well as other branches libraries of Memorial University.

As a branch of the Memorial University Library system, our holdings are catalogued in Memorial University’s Integrated Library System


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The Challenge: has access via intercampus loans to a large collection in the main campus library : the Queen Elizabeth II library as well as other branches libraries of Memorial University.

A projection of what library requirements will be if we are to achieve our goals for the year 2020


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“This [is] an opportunity to dream with a reasonable expectation that your dream may become reality.”


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“The Dream...!” expectation that your dream may become reality.”


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Focus on needs rather than the container expectation that your dream may become reality.”


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  • Current Collection to bring the question down to its simplest elements:

  • ~ 60,000 monographs

  • ~400+ Journal titles (print) – large proportion of trade journals

  • ~ 1200+ VHS collection with a shift to DVD

  • 400 ships blueprints

  • 100+ maps shelved in bookstacks and reference


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  • Current library space: to bring the question down to its simplest elements:

  • Group study area 28 seats

  • Small group study room 6 seats

  • Information Commons 13 seats

  • Public access computers 7 seats

  • Study carrels 37 seats

  • AV viewing 3 seats

  • Armchairs 2 seats

  • Total seating area 96 seats


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Library seating recommendations to bring the question down to its simplest elements::

  • Should be seating for 20%-25% of students

  • (Leighton & Weber, 2000)

  • Current student population: 2000

  • There should be 400 seats!

  • Library currently has 96 seats.


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Conflicting information: to bring the question down to its simplest elements:

Carlson, S. (2001). The deserted library. Chronicle of Higher Education, 49(12), 35.

“...more students are entering libraries not through turnstiles but through phone lines and fiber-optic cables.”


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Albanese, A. R. (2003). Deserted no more. to bring the question down to its simplest elements: Library Journal, 128(7), 34.

Cites a change in library usage statistics

“If you want students to use your library…you want to offer them everything they need.”

“Post-internet bounce”


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Buschman, J., & Leckie, G. J. (2007). to bring the question down to its simplest elements:The library as place : History, community, and culture. Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited.

Authors conducted a survey in 2004 to study library usage patterns by “older scholars” vs. “younger scholars.”


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“Younger scholars” are more likely to do the following: to bring the question down to its simplest elements:

  • Work at a library table

  • Spend time in contemplation at the library

  • Take a briefcase or backpack to the library

  • Take personal books or library books to the library

  • Take food or drink to the library

  • Make frequent library visits (3 times per month or more)

  • Make long library visits (one hour or more)

  • Use a study carrel

  • Use group study rooms

  • Make “space-only” visits to the library (i.e., visit the library for reasons other than using library materials or technology)


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Estabrook, L., Witt, E., & Raini to bring the question down to its simplest elements:e, L. (2007). PEW internet and American life project: Information searches that solve problems. Urbana, Ill.: Graduate School of Library and Information Science - University of Illnois at Urbana-Champaign.

“Libraries meet special needs. Young adults in Generation Y (age 18-29) are the heaviest users of libraries when they face these problems. They are also the most likely library visitors for any purpose. Most of those who visit libraries to seek problem-solving information are very satisfied with what they find and they appreciate the resources available there, especially access to computers and the internet.”


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Freeman, G. T. (2005). The library as place: Changes in learning patterns, collections, technology, and use. In Council on Library and Information Resources, Library as place: Rethinking roles, rethinking space (pp. 1). Washington, D.C.: Council on Library and Information Resources.

“If Faculty, Scholars and students can now obtain information in any format and access it anywhere on campus, then why does the library, as a physical place, play such an important role in the renewal and advancement of an institution’s intellectual life?”


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“The library is the only centralized location where new technologies can be combined with traditional knowledge resources in a user-focused, service-rich environment that supports today’s social and educational patterns of learning, teaching and research.”


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Projected Student Population technologies can be combined with traditional knowledge resources in a user-focused, service-rich environment that supports today’s social and educational patterns of learning, teaching and research.”

  • Overall estimate of student population for MI and College of the North Atlantic – Engineering Technolgy Centre in 2020 is 2500 students

  • Does not include faculty, staff, or external users

  • New library should provide 500-625 seats

  • More five times the current capacity


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Proposed seating needs: technologies can be combined with traditional knowledge resources in a user-focused, service-rich environment that supports today’s social and educational patterns of learning, teaching and research.”

  • Comfortable seating – 50 seats

  • Group study rooms (10x6 seats) – 60 seats

  • Group study tables – 150 seats

  • Chart room – 30 seats

  • Individual study areas:

    • Lockable rooms – 40 seats

    • Carrels – 60

    • Open study areas – 40 seats


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Projected Technology Needs technologies can be combined with traditional knowledge resources in a user-focused, service-rich environment that supports today’s social and educational patterns of learning, teaching and research.”

  • We cannot predict what sort of technology will be used in 2020 but we can be certain that it will need electricity.

  • Therefore ensure that all seating in library has access to an electrical outlet.

  • Use construction techniques and infrastructure that are adaptable to reconfiguration


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Technology & Public Access Workstations technologies can be combined with traditional knowledge resources in a user-focused, service-rich environment that supports today’s social and educational patterns of learning, teaching and research.”

Public access terminals - to 20 seats

Information commons - to 30 seats

Electronic classroom – reserved for library instruction for early term and available for staff training in late term. Also used for information commons – 20 seats


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Projected Physical Collection technologies can be combined with traditional knowledge resources in a user-focused, service-rich environment that supports today’s social and educational patterns of learning, teaching and research.”

  • Assume 1000 acquisitions per year (based on annual statistics)

  • 15 years = 15000 acquisitions at 1” per item

  • 556 shelves

  • 93 more bays


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Projected Staffing Needs technologies can be combined with traditional knowledge resources in a user-focused, service-rich environment that supports today’s social and educational patterns of learning, teaching and research.”

  • Currently 6 FT staff and 1 librarian

  • Anticipate need for 2nd librarian

  • Need 8 offices


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Circulation Desk technologies can be combined with traditional knowledge resources in a user-focused, service-rich environment that supports today’s social and educational patterns of learning, teaching and research.”

  • Ergonomically designed for efficiency

  • Workspace for 2 staff

  • Locked cabinets for electronic items such as GPS units and laptops that we circulate

  • 8 bays of shelving for reserve items


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The Marine Institute is situated on a hill overlooking St. John’s. The view from this perspective is unparalleled.

The new library would be a showpiece for Marine Institute. If well designed and constructed, it would be a certain stop for visitors to Marine Institute including potential students and clients.


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In other words... John’s. The view from this perspective is unparalleled.

“If you build it,

they will come.”

W.P. Kinsella


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Questions? John’s. The view from this perspective is unparalleled.


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