The new Academic Skills & Knowledge Center (ASK! Center) housed on the 2nd floor of the BBC Hubert Library will be formally dedicated on Thursday, October 30 at 9:30AM. Refreshments will follow in the new Starbucks® located on the 1st floor of the Library. Funded by FIU’s Technology Fee, the ASK! Center is a student learning and support zone for writing, grammar, languages, study-skills, library and database research, and academic technology use. The ASK! Center advances the Libraries’ commitment to provide spaces and services that meet the needs of today’s students.
With expansive views across the entire south side of the 2nd floor, the ASK! Center includes a total of 177 new seats, including 53 PC computer work stations and 12 Apple computers capable of digital video editing.
FIU partners offering academic and technical support from the new common service desk are: Center for Excellence in Writing; Center for Academic Success (various forms of educational support); University Technology Services (UTS) for all network, email, password issues and support; and the Libraries, for electronic and traditional research sources and assistance.
The new service desk will seat up to 5 staff as a “one-stop-shop” to help students. Built into the desk is innovative digital signage to assist with way-finding and information, and interactive touch screens for staff-student-technology interactions.
Within the ASK! Center space, and adjacent to the service desk are:
- Two new offices for student/staff consultations and remote student support.
- 32 peer-tutor learning and student interaction stations, for students getting personalized assistance with their assignments or studying with friends.
- Three laptop bars with 23 seats; 41 perimeter or casual interaction seats; all with access to electrical and wireless network services.
- A high-definition TV lounge with two screens for viewing Blu-ray, cable-TV and university digital signage – where students will be able to relax and use headsets loaned from the library, or their own IPod or other earbuds.
- Glass whiteboards and innovative seating for group study and learning.
- Gallery style walls and lighting will display student art, projects and cultural exhibits from within and without the University.
- New shelving around columns lit with LED lighting, adjacent to the computers, for ease of access of new learning resources by students at point-of-need.
- New media displays, allowing students of Schools and Colleges at BBC to easily find DVDs related to their chosen field.
Design standards include outstanding LED lighting, and comfortable seating helping define the spaces where students collaborate side-by-side against a pleasing backdrop of large picture windows and the adjacent walls with artwork.
The ASK! Center will elevate Instructional Technology and University resources by:
- Providing all new top-end computers centrally located, replacing the three aging computer labs divided across the first floor and keeping them on the same replacement cycle.
- Co-locating writing help and dedicated grammar, library and other instructional support together, for the first time, in one location.
- Building a collaborative system of cross-referrals between the Writing Center, Academic Success, the FIU Libraries and UTS.
- Providing students with Apple computers for video editing, and in support of the roughly 10 to 12% of the US population who are Apple users.
- Responding to the request of students for better lighting in the Hubert Library, the ASK! Center has replaced aging and inefficient halide lighting with new energy efficient LED lighting in the refurbished space.
- The Center also has two printer/copiers (including one color), in a designated area to lessen sound dispersal from operating machines.
The ASK! Center will concentrate resources in support of all students. It will play a significant role supporting the Five-Year Plan, whereby FIU continues to raise the six-year graduation rate, and develop and expand student-support services, programs, and activities that enhance student achievement.