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Library Invites Students to Plug In

A new interactive media area takes some of the stress out of group projects.

Written by Karin Slyker

Each station is equipped with large monitors, improving visibility for everyone in the group.

Each station is equipped with large monitors, improving visibility for everyone in the group.

No more crowding around the screen of a laptop and straining to hear the audio through tiny speakers. No more flipping a coin to decide who will host a group study project.

GroupWorks is the newest addition to the Texas Tech Library, named by the students through a Facebook poll. This interactive media area is located on the first floor, with all new furniture. Tables, chairs and couches of all shapes and sizes encourage students to bring their study partners and stay awhile.

GroupWorks is comprised of 11 stations, where users can gather around the dedicated computer or plug in up to five portable devices, including laptop and tablet computers. A media well at the center of each table provides both power and network access. The user may also plug in to a cable attached to a retractable puck, enabling them to project images from their personal device to the large monitors overhead, improving visibility for everyone in the group.


“These stations are primarily set up for PC. However, Apple users can check out an adapter from the service desk,” said Justin Daniel, systems librarian for the Texas Tech Library.

Group members need not be present to participate. Each station is equipped with a webcam, which allows for video conferencing from across town or around the world.

“It’s a set-up that can benefit many different situations, from the student studying abroad, to the parent of a sick child who is forced to work from home,” Daniel said. “They will even be able to see what the group is working on, through a desktop sharing application.”

Six Samsung 65-inch touch screen displays will also be added to the floor in the coming weeks. Each will be equipped with whiteboard software, Daniel said.

“It wasn’t long ago, that this area housed card catalogs. Now that items are digital, the Texas Tech Library is committed to meeting the ever-changing needs of students, by providing that digital content and a variety of ways to access it.”

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