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After a year of rebuilding, the fourth and fifth floors of the Moffitt Library reopened on Wednesday, Nov. 2. Hundreds of students and staff thronged the reimagined floors, which are expected to become a top study destination thanks to new student-friendly policies, technology services, and a wide variety of flexible spaces.
As the open house attendees explored the new floors, many students buckled down and applied themselves to their work, such as four political science majors who began studying for their midterm in a group room. One said “we were kind of freaking out when we first came in, because Moffitt is so nice now!”
This group expected to be up until about 4 am, because of the exam the next day. “We will use Moffitt a lot,” one said. “Most places on campus, you’re kicked out at 2 am, which isn’t enough time.”
Another added, “I’m all about the snack-friendly policy. To be able to sustain myself while studying is great. No more sneaking!” They praised the quietness of the study room they had claimed, along with the handy USB ports and walls that could be written on.
Up on the fifth floor, a dozen or so new Brody chairs — individual all-inclusive work areas — were soon completely occupied. Marycon Jiro, a biology major, noted “It’s really hard to find one’s own space on campus. A personal space like this, with walls around a comfortable chair, plus my own light and a desk, cuts out visual distraction. It helps me to relax and to concentrate.” Jiro also looks forward to rehearsing presentations in the new Van Houten Presentation Studio.
New Features on 4 + 5
During the afternoon celebration, student demos included virtual reality, drones and 3D printing. Meanwhile, library staff, student groups, and campus partners showed off services and features such as:
- tech help support
- expanded tech lending
- a presentation practice studio
- a web conferencing studio
- an instruction room
- BearWALK service
- gender inclusive restrooms
- writeable glass walls to aid in collaboration and brainstorming
- work lounges
- art work
A new wellness room earned lots of smiles as students tried out the comfortable lounge chairs and the MetroNap EnergyPod. “It’s great to have a place to go take a quick break and chill out,” one undergrad remarked, “right next to where you’re studying.” Another joked, “I may come here too often.”
The chairs were provided by the ASUC for the REST-Zone initiative, and are reservable for one hour periods.
Moffitt floors four and five now boast living room-like spaces with larger seating areas, and casual chairs and tables which can be flexibly re-arranged. Expansive windows allow for abundant natural light and sweeping views of Memorial Glade.
Matthew Hahn, an MBA/MPH candidate (’17), commented that “Campus really needs new study spaces, especially collaborative ones. The new Moffitt study spaces are ideal because the future of education is about collaboration and teamwork.”
Hahn is also happy about group rooms where he can project from his laptop onto a screen; the wellness room as a place to take a quick break; and the lockers, noting that now he won’t have to lug his belongings around campus all day long.
Akira Bai, likely the first student to eat a meal in the renovated Moffitt, said how glad he was to have a space where he can study and eat at the same time. “There aren’t many places on campus where you can eat indoors. I’m totally happy about the new Moffitt!”
One visitor to the gender-neutral restrooms described himself as “totally in support. I consider myself a progressive and even though these take some getting used to, after that it’s no big deal.” Another student praised the U-shape, and said he thought gender-neutral was a good model for all restrooms.
A low-tech feature in ample supply, whiteboards, came in for repeated praise by students at the open house. One computer science student described them as “essential for every study session.” Another student, Tinh Nguyen, added, “being able to write stuff and have everyone see it is so important. Moffitt has always been my #1 choice of library, and now I’ll be here even more.” When he learned that Moffitt will be open after Thanksgiving for 24 hours, he said “Wow! I’ll always be here.”
Beth Dupuis, who has led the re-envisioning process for Moffitt, commented “It has been a tremendous journey to create a new vision for Moffitt Library. I am so proud to work with all the amazing people who helped develop the ideas and make them come to life. Hearing students rave about the new services and spaces is so satisfying — I can’t wait to see what they do here.”
Francisco Peralta’s enthusiasm for product design and technology is outpaced only by his love of outreach and collaboration. Co-founder of EnableTech, a student-run group that designs solutions to minimize the difficulties of disability, he’s excited about the new Makerspace in Moffitt Library for all those reasons.
The location, Peralta (‘18) says, couldn’t be better. “When a friend and I were first setting up the 3D printers, lots of people approached us to find out what we were doing.” Since the Makerspace is in an open space and not walled off, “it’s going to be a great ecosystem where everyone can communicate and collaborate.”
The 3D printers in Moffitt’s Makerspace enable users to create three dimensional objects by laying down successive layers of material. The advent of this technology has spurred on the Maker movement, a diverse subculture that is reconnecting people to the possibilities of hands-on creation and construction.
EnableTech was cofounded by Peralta with mechanical engineering students Drew MacPherson (’17) and Kevin Haninger (B.S.’12, M.S.’15). Peralta says, “It’s cool because EnableTech offers a platform where people with disabilities can get help. Could be someone like me with my prosthetic leg, or someone with Parkinson’s or in a wheelchair, who needs help with tasks like opening windows.” Current or potential projects include:
- a glove that provides greater grip strength for people with spinal cord injuries
- an app that will make it easier for people with physical disabilities to get emergency assistance, and
- a low-cost robotic arm to assist people in wheelchairs.
Along with product design, prototyping and manufacturing, the organizational side of EnableTech is a focus for Peralta. As in industry, team projects follow timelines and multiple design reviews, including a final project review and self-evaluation. “I’m a perfectionist,” he acknowledges, “and I enjoy constantly thinking how to make things better and better.”
UC Berkeley’s long history with disability rights and the nationally recognized
Disabled Students’ Program were part of Peralta’s attraction to the school. “I couldn’t think of a better place to be,” says Peralta, who was born without a femur.
Raised in Chile and in southern California, Peralta studied robotics in high school and arrived at Berkeley as a mechanical engineering major. But when he took a cognitive science class suggested by a fraternity brother he “fell in love,” as he puts it, and changed his major.
“Understanding the brain will enable me to design better — and it also helps me to get through rough moments, like dealing with stress and setbacks.” This semester he is especially enjoying a philosophy course on the theory of meaning, which helps him “think more expansively about the world and about people.”
Despite the demands of his coursework and EnableTech, Peralta finds time for an active social life and for exercise. In October he participated in his second triathlon through the Challenged Athletes Foundation, completing the swimming relay. “I’ve learned enough about dopamine in my cognitive science classes to really appreciate the value of exercise!,” he says.
Support from the UC Berkeley Student Technology Fund made the purchase of Moffitt’s 3D printers possible. The venture represents a partnership between the University Library, Educational Technology Services, and Student Affairs Information Technology.
We’ve transformed the top floors of the Moffitt Library into an innovative, 24-hour study and collaboration space. The next step is to reimagine the lower floors and create a connected learning hub that further inspires and empowers all Berkeley students.
“The curtain walls,” Faraz Kahen and Kyle Gray both say, when asked for their favorite architectural feature of the new Moffitt floors. These glass walls, facing Memorial Glade, fill the renovated fourth and fifth floors with light. “There are great sight lines now,” Gray adds. “You can sit on a sofa in the middle of the floor, and gaze straight through out to the glade.”
Kahen, a Cal student, and Gray, a seasoned project planner, have been working together since March, in an internship program as well as a DeCal construction course for which Gray serves as an industry coach. Gray has worked with Turner Construction for a decade, and is assistant project manager on the Moffitt renovation.
Kahen, a junior majoring in civil engineering, was born to two Iranian civil engineers. Recalling an early love of building, he says “my favorite thing in the world was constructing things with Legos.”
Kahen fell in love with Berkeley when his family visited campus after his sister’s acceptance. Attending the university himself immediately became his dream, especially when he learned that the school is ranked #1 in civil engineering.
During his eighteen-week internship with Turner Construction, Kahen managed a variety of construction-related documents. A major focus was earning the LEED certification for Moffitt’s fourth and fifth floors. “I got to attack it full-on,” Kahen recalls. “I read the whole manual, figuring out how we can meet all the requirements. Turner is the #1 green builder in the U.S., and sustainable construction is a huge passion for me.”
Gray joined the Moffitt project during the early pre-construction phase and has helped manage construction for the past 18 months. Contributing to improvements to the primary library for Berkeley undergraduates has been immensely rewarding for him, he says.
But Gray’s connection with campus extends even further, to the five years he has served as an industry coach for the DeCal construction course. The course is designed to give students a hands-on introduction to the world of construction management, as well as the chance to compete at the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) student competition.
Gray notes that coaching Cal students in the course has offered “some of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had. I still keep in touch with many of my former students, following their adventures whether they’re working in Ireland, Saudi Arabia, or around here.”
In the DeCal construction course, industry coaches like Gray work with four competition teams: Design-Build, Commercial, Virtual Design and Construction, and Integrated Project Delivery. In February 2017, this year’s UC Berkeley teams will compete against 20 other teams in their region (the far west).
Kahen notes his gratitude at landing the internship job with Turner while they are working on Moffitt. “Every day I would walk to work, thinking this is amazing. All my friends will see something I actually worked on, right here in the heart of campus. Plus I’ll be using it plenty myself. I can’t wait to take in the view through the curtain walls!”
The Movies @ Moffitt series features films selected by students for students, on the first Wednesday of each month.
Place: 150D Moffitt Library
Doors open @ 6:30pm
You must have a Cal Student ID to attendThe Library attempts to offer programs in accessible, barrier-free settings. If you think you may require disability-related accommodations, please contact the event sponsor prior to the event. The event sponsor is Tim Dilworth firstname.lastname@example.orgPost contributed by Tim Dilworth, First Year Coordinator, The Library
Berkeley students spend hour after hour inventing and building the next big thing. But what happens when they need to present their idea — or themselves — to a class, client or future employer? Will their pitch be a flop? Not anymore.
When the top floors of the Moffitt Library reopen on Nov. 2, students can practice public speaking, interviews and presentations in a newly-created space dedicated to just this. In the Van Houten Presentation Studio, students will use the latest technology to develop, practice, record and review their public speaking efforts.
The studio exemplifies the expanded role of the Library in the education of today’s students. This role goes beyond the traditional functions of collections and research assistance to meet today’s needs for flexible, collaborative, technology-rich study spaces that can support a wide variety of course projects and learning styles.
Barrie Roberts, who teaches public speaking, is excited about the new studio.“My College Writing colleagues and I are thrilled,” she says, “that we’ll finally have a place where students can experiment and develop their individual and group presentation skills, aided by cutting-edge technology.”
Margi Wald, who coordinates classes in the Summer ESL program, plans to direct students to the studio to practice their PowerPoint presentations and their pronunciation. She also envisions holding student panel presentations in the room, and is delighted they can readily review the videos in order to pinpoint areas for improvement.
It’s anticipated that the new studio will be used by faculty as well as students. Dr. Richard Freishtat, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), notes that the space will be valuable for instructors working to improve on their delivery of lectures. “The opportunity to video record ourselves and review the playback is a profound experience,” he says, “where we can notice effective things we did not realize we were doing, or notice explicit areas for improvement.” By then consulting with staff at the CTL, instructors can take on an entirely new perspective about themselves as a teacher from the student view.
The fourth floor Moffitt studio is named in honor of Peter Van Houten (’56, ’73). His recent $500K gift to the Library has helped to create Berkeley’s premier learning space for undergraduates.
Van Houten feels a particular connection to the Presentation Studio named in his honor. “I’ve always been passionate about helping people learn to express themselves in positive and productive ways,” he says. “I’m delighted that the renovated Moffitt is supporting this.”
The technology for the Van Houten Presentation Studio was provided by the Student Technology Fund.
Students working in the revamped fourth and fifth floors of Moffitt Library will find fresh inspiration in the original artwork adorning the walls. Some of the artists will be on hand at the Nov. 2 opening to talk with attendees about their work.
The redesigned floors also boast modern, appealing workspaces; ample natural light; up-to-date technology; flexible seating; and access to vast Library collections both online and in the nearby Gardner Stacks.
UC Berkeley student artists were tapped to supply the half a dozen paintings, drawings, photos and mixed media works. Farley Gwazda, Worth Ryder gallery manager in the Department of Art Practice, assisted in launching the process.
Monica Galvan is a 2016 graduate whose piece “What’s Left Behind in Berkeley” assembles 25 photos chosen from over 1500 that she took on long walks down Shattuck and University Avenues. Rusty sign poles, battered metal grates and peeling paint are among the richly-textured images.
Galvan spent many hours in Moffitt as a student herself, and hopes that library users will get a “creative kickstart” from her work. “Many of my photos are taken low to the ground, of things that are usually overlooked, so I’m hoping the piece will inspire viewers to take the time to look at things from a fresh angle.”
Lindsay Hansen (’16) contributed “A Field Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area,” which depicts dozens of frogs and fishes, birds, butterflies and other regional fauna.
Hansen earned a BA in art together with a BS in conservation resource studies, and has worked as a field biologist and scientific illustrator. She comments that her “species account work intends to inspire excitement and wonderment for biology, science and connections with nature.”
More minimalistic is a delicate drawing of bare tree branches by Katie Revilla (’17). Although Revilla works mainly in sculpture and textiles, she says “drawing is the foundation. I draw everything first, to think it through.”
Her piece conveys the poignancy of “how winter breaks everything down to its elements and exposes its vulnerability; and yet, nature survives and bursts into life again in the spring.”
Abstract diptychs by Bridget Cuevas (’16) are also on display. Cuevas notes that she is honored to have her work on display in Moffitt, saying “It is a privilege to think that someone may stop and stare at my work in such a space.” She adds that among the inspirations for her work are “clean sheets, domesticity, and architecture.” Cuevas is applying to graduate school in art for next year.
The student artworks in Moffitt will be displayed through May 2017, at which time new student pieces will be selected and displayed.
Local art collective creates two works
Two 8-by-6 foot mixed media murals adorn a wall on the Haas-Herscher Gallery on the fifth floor. commissioned from Oakland collective Five Ton Crane. Two UC Berkeley alumni, Sean Orlando (’11) and Bree Hylkema (’97) serve as the collective’s lead artists. It has created large-scale artworks for Burning Man and for festivals and museums locally and around the country.
As a student, Orlando worked on the “Babel Library” installation in Doe Library, a piece created by then artist-in-residence J. Ignacio Diaz de Rabago which featured books suspended in the air near the three-level spiral staircase of the Gardner Stacks.
For the Moffitt Library works, photos of Sproul Plaza and the Student Organic Garden Association (SOGA) Garden were divided into 48 squares, and each square was recreated by artists in the Five Ton Crane collective. Yarn, felt, plaster, paint, puzzle pieces, beads, guitar picks, rocks and other media were used to create the squares, which were then assembled to make a coherent image. Five Ton Crane’s Oakland Squared project, that uses the same technique, is on display in the Latham Building lobby in Uptown Oakland.
Orlando was introduced to the grid concept in a charcoal drawing class at Berkeley. He comments “it’s always fun to utilize the power of a group, weaving together techniques, visions and styles.”
The final Five Ton Crane works in Moffitt include contributions from over fifty artists, each of whom made one or more squares. A number of the artists are Berkeley alumni or campus staff — including Zsuzsu Listro, who works in the University Librarian’s office and whose square incorporates an old pair of Levi jeans. Desi Gallardo, who works in human resources, also created a square, utilizing mixed media (acrylic paints, oil pastels, markers) and found objects (deconstructed floppy disks, an old DSL modem, and DSL filters).
Orlando hopes that library users viewing the works will be inspired by the power of a collective effort and the creative possibilities engendered by teamwork. Hylkema notes that “as our culture becomes more and more digital, seeing a handcrafted creation will remind people of all these traditional techniques.” She imagines people “looking up from their research or working on a paper, and having something relaxing to look at, something they can lose themselves in.”
By Damaris Moore, Library Communications
“How do I connect to the network?”
“How do I use a calendar app or a shared drive?”
“My phone is frozen, what should I do?”
“Help, my computer has a virus!”
“How do I set up a virtual private network?”
Higher education today requires effective technology use, but issues like network access, malware or identifying the right software can bring a student’s study time to a screeching halt. Fortunately, tech help has become more accessible on campus this semester, with the launch of a new Student Technology Help Desk in Moffitt Library as part of a new student computing service initiative, SC@CAL.
At this walk-up service, students can get help configuring, using, and troubleshooting campus technologies and their personally owned devices, such as laptops, tablets and phones.
The Moffitt tech help desk is only one next step in an expanding set of services. A partnership between five campus entities has resulted in the launch of a three-year project, funded by the Student Technology Fund. By working together on shared goals, these collaborators are finding ways to efficiently deliver top-notch computing services to students. The five units are:
- The University Library
- Student Technologies for Student Affairs IT (SAIT)
- Educational Technology Services (ETS)
- Campus Shared Services-Information Technology (CSS-IT)
- Information Services and Technology (IST)
Down the road, the group will create an outreach program to help students quickly find technology resources available on campus, and will work to make campus computing more consistent and ubiquitous.
The new Help Desk in Moffitt works on the “by students, for students” model that SAIT has long used, through similar support desks in residence halls. Along with in-person support at the desks, email and phone assistance is available.
Currently located on the third floor of Moffitt and open four hours a day, the plan for the Moffitt Tech Help Desk is to expand hours and to move up to the 4th floor in November.
Ying Luo (‘17), a computer science major who works on the desk, comments that “making technology more accessible to people is really important to me, and this is a cool way to do that. I love showing other students how technology can make their daily life and studying much easier — it is very fulfilling for me!”
Students can enter contest to win 10 hours of study space during finals
After a year of rebuilding, the fourth and fifth floors of the Moffitt Library will reopen on Wednesday, Nov. 2. During the opening celebration, 2 to 4 pm, the UC Berkeley community can explore the new 24-hour, snack-friendly space, experiment with emerging technology, and scope out Cal’s premier study spots.
The Moffitt Opens Up event will feature live acapella by Cal students, student art and a chance to meet the artists, and student demos of virtual reality, drones and 3D printing. Current Cal students can enter a raffle of iPad Airs, video cameras, wireless headphones, gift cards and more (student ID required).
To kickoff the announcement, the Library is awarding study space during finals week to three student supporters, who will help create and share stories during the Moffitt Opens Up event. Interested students should submit a short pitch here by Friday, Oct. 7.
The reimagined floors four and five are expected to become a top study destination, with technology services, a wide variety of flexible study and discovery spaces, and student-friendly policies. Studios equipped for Web conferencing and presentation practice are available, as well as an expanded tech help desk, a tech lending service, meeting rooms for group learning, and writeable glass walls to aid in collaboration and brainstorming. A wellness room and living room-like spaces round out the offerings, while expansive windows allow for abundant natural light and sweeping views of Memorial Glade.
The Library attempts to offer programs in accessible, barrier-free settings. If you think you may require disability-related accommodations, please contact the event sponsor — ideally at least two weeks prior to the event. The event sponsor is Ashley Bacchi, 510-664-7737, email@example.com.
The Movies @ Moffitt series features films selected by students for students, on the first Wednesday of each month.
Title: Forgetting Vietnam
Director: Trinh T. Minh-ha
Synopsis: Influential anti-imperialist and feminist theorist, filmmaker and Cal professor Trinh T. Minh-ha creates a dialogue between fact and fiction in this exploration of Vietnam four decades after the end of the war. Over the course of the film, she interweaves myth with observation, deconstructs national identity into its most basic symbolic elements and re-constructs personal and political memory of place, trauma and dynamism.
Date: Wednesday, October 5
Place: 150D Moffitt Library
Doors open @ 6:30pm
You must have a Cal Student ID to attend
The Library attempts to offer programs in accessible, barrier-free settings. If you think you may require disability-related accommodations, please contact the event sponsor prior to the event. The event sponsor is Tim Dilworth firstname.lastname@example.org
Post contributed by Tim Dilworth, First Year Coordinator, The Library