Going mobile in more ways than one

Anyone who likes bookmobiles will want to check out Yolanda Cooper's wish list for the Emory libraries. The university librarian, who's in her first year here, wants to change how we use the libraries and the way we think about them.

"We want to enhance our engagement on campus," she says. Among those enhancements are increases in the number of expert consultations for faculty, integration of services across libraries and subjects, and expansion of the practice of embedding librarians in classes.

The goal is to get more library resources and expertise into spaces that are part of the daily rounds for faculty, students, and staff. "We want to provide the right information that's needed in the flow of what's happening," she says.

Cooper thinks of the libraries as "busy collaborative laboratories" with a growing demand for group-study spaces, such as the newly renovated Learning Commons in the Woodruff Library. At the same time, the idea of "using your library voice" is holding its own under her watch. She believes students still need quiet spaces. In particular, she would like to develop such spaces for graduate students dedicated to study, project development, and collaboration.

The library also is finding new entries into classrooms and research projects through the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship, where some three dozen faculty initiatives were underway as the fall semester began. The center is "an essential front door for faculty and students," Cooper says. "With our shared expertise, we are defining a core set of tools for all forms of research, teaching, and learning. It's about partnership."

Another partnership she's excited about: the Library Service Center project with Georgia Tech. "The center will enable development of a shared collection, enhancing resources and services for both communities," Cooper says.