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The place to go, when you need to use a computer

Student working at a pc

It might surprise many people to learn which Rutgers University facility will soon have the most computers available for student use.

Is it a computer lab on Busch?

Or is it a large classroom building in Newark?


It will be the Paul Robeson Library on the Rutgers-Camden campus.

As part of an ongoing whole-scale renovation project, the library has created state of the art compact shelving units on the lower level and moved all of their book collections into those shelves. The compact shelving is powered by electric motors and accompanied by a touch screen computer to aid users in locating items.

Using the now-cleared prime real estate on their first floor, the library partnered with the Office of Information Technology-Camden Computing Services to merge all public computing labs on the Camden campus into one large lab in the library. The new closely situation OIT library computer labs will feature over 180 computers for student use, which includes 160 or more OIT-supported computers and 25 Libraries-supported computers.

One added value of the OIT/library computer labs will be the availability of a seasoned librarian on premises during regular business hours, to assist students in framing their research projects effectively and locating the materials they need to successfully complete their work. OIT staff will now be stationed in the library to address any concerns about computer access, computer applications, and routine computer support.

Though the renovation is in the early stage of construction, visitors to the Paul Robeson Library can view the overall size and scope of the space that is being designed for the addition of the new computers. The new OIT/library computer lab should be completed by the beginning of the fall 2011 semester.

Paul Robeson Library Director Gary Golden has already observed an increase in reference contacts between librarians and students in the library, which he attributes to the increased number of computers attracting more students. The rise in reference contacts point to what is, perhaps, the greatest potential of new OIT/library partnership - to increase students' knowledge of the expertise of the libraries and to broaden use of top-quality library resources.

Posted January 13, 2011