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Celebrity study rooms promote learning at UH Hilo Library

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Date: Friday, October 11, 2002
Contact: Thora Abarca, (808) 974-7343

For Immediate Release

As academic libraries accelerate their expansion into virtual space, providing cutting edge technology and access to increasingly sophisticated on-line resources, they continue to offer a physical and social environment where students can explore the world of knowledge, find inspiration and share their ideas.

Meeting these dual challenges is no small task for library staff, especially during a period of lean budgets. The staff at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo Mookini Library has taken a proactive approach this fall to creating a learning environment that is supportive of the diversified student learner, and dedicated to meeting the student's needs as its first priority.

Students visiting the Mookini Library can now meet in one of the six "Celebrity Study Rooms." The library staff, utilizing American Library Association (ALA) READ posters, has created six student-friendly study rooms to help facilitate the collaborative learning process. These include: the Tara Dakides Room; Yo-Yo Ma Room; Marion Jones Room; Rob Schneider Room; Ani di Franco Room; and Shaquille O'Neal Room.

Each room is equipped with a chalkboard, table with up to eight chairs, and a brightly colored poster featuring the celebrity for whom the room is named hanging prominently on the wall. Rooms can be reserved in advance or on a walk-in basis, to provide students with a meeting place for study groups or to work on projects.
The ALA READ posters have inspired the Library's Reading Promotion Team and the Graphics Department to produce a series of "local" READ posters. They include Hilo professional surfer Noah Johnson who is depicted reading a book of his choosing in front of Honoli'i, the popular Hilo surf break. These locally made READ posters remind library users that reading inspires great people from all fields and contributes to their life-long success and well-being.

The celebrity study rooms reflect the Mookini Library staff's desire to create an inviting learning environment. Other aesthetic activities include the continuous cycling of various art works on loan from the Hawai`i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and donations from former faculty and library supporters.

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