June 25, 2019

Hege Library and Learning Technologies Receives Federal Grant for the "Mobile Edge"


Hege Library and Learning Technologies was recently awarded a Library Services and Technology (LSTA) grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for $48,158 to advance the Mobile Edge, an initiative reimagining and expanding digital media services for enhanced mobility. 

The Mobile Edge will support the new academic priorities of the Guilford Edge, which is designed to increase student participation in study away and abroad experiences and community engagement. It will also be vital for the new academic calendar, which features redesigned experiential curricula, as well as for Guilford’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), Speak UP: Unifying Presentation for an Inclusive, Connected World.

“This grant will enable us to support all students, regardless of their means, in engaging in a broad array of activities, whether they are documenting their travels on a class blog, rehearsing a presentation, doing public health interventions out in the community, surveying users for design research, collaborating with peers to create a podcast, or giving peers live feedback during in-class presentations,” says Liz Wade, Access and Information Services Librarian and grant project manager.

The grant will accelerate efforts to expand the capabilities of Hege’s mobile digital media collections and services to serve an increasing number of users. It will also address increases in student demand, as well as the fundamental expectation that all students will participate in out-of-classroom experiences.

The Mobile Edge will expand support for virtual writing and research activities, as well as provide dedicated tools for creating higher-quality recorded sound and video recordings. A new suite of tablet technology will offer students a common and accessible platform, personalized for long-term use. Additionally, to meet demand for technology to support presentations including podcasting, interviews, and oral histories, the College’s existing capacity for Swivl robotic technology will be doubled, and new interview recording equipment will be purchased. 

An expressed need of Study Abroad — to enable immersive experiences — will be met using virtual reality (VR) technologies, allowing students to anticipate the new environments they encounter, record happenings in the moment, and subsequently use their recorded experiences as they return.

The LSTA grant award will also increase capacity for ensuring equity of access to students who do not personally own the mobile digital technologies that are often required for fulfillment of academic course requirements, which increasingly include digital-presentation development.

“We anticipate that this capacity-building project will be pivotal in advancing our support of the College’s new curriculum and QEP,” says Director of Hege Library and Learning Technologies Suzanne Bartels. “Moreover, it will address the need for technological equity for our student body, and will support the needs of new program development at a pivotal time.”

The Center for Principled Problem Solving (CPPS) will partner on The Mobile Edge to support the success of the project in addressing issues of equity of access and support for students in utilizing the technologies. CPPS has pledged to contribute funding for a paid student internship to support these efforts for the duration of the grant period. The Director of CPPS also will contribute support for the development of an assessment strategy that is reflective of its mission and of the Guilford Core Value Equality. This support will help ensure meaningful assessment of the extent to which the grant initiative is meeting the needs of all students requiring mobile digital technologies for fulfillment of academic requirements, that it is reflective of the Core Value Excellence in promoting academic rigor, and that it is reflective of the two pillars of the Guilford Edge aligned with the PPS curriculum, programming, and mission: Learning Collaboratively and Ethical Leadership.

The Mobile Edge grant initiative is made possible by funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMSL grant number LS-OO-0034-19). Matching funds in the amount of $10,864.00 are made possible by the Guilford College Friends of the Library.