By Corinne Neustadter
What will Colorado’s future look like? Other than flying cars and tractor beams, the future seems like a nebulous entity that’s difficult to prepare for.
As a hub for leaders and innovators, the CSU Libraries prepares students for their futures while integrating forward-thinking technologies and expertise to enhance services for generations of students to come.
With the Libraries’ leaders and employees engaging in future-forward research and planning, we asked CSU students how they envision the future and library staff how they’re making those visions reality.
Prediction: Radical Inclusivity
Brandon Lowry (B.S. ‘22), Director of Academics, Associated Students of CSU
“I hope the library will be an ally and a staunch supporter to target services to marginalized students (at CSU). Radical inclusivity means fostering an environment where people feel welcome, included and valued that (they) belong here, where their identities are an addition rather a defining aspect.”
Robert Ayala, Manager of Library Space and User Experience, CSU Libraries
“It’s important that CSU Libraries represent – through our full range of resources – who our students are and who they want to be in all their diversity, and include their perspectives, stories of personal experience, and powerful identities in our ongoing work to improve our libraries.
The most important thing CSU Libraries is currently doing to help first-generation and minority students make their future visions a reality is to include them at the very center of our service design and user experience philosophy.
What does this mean? It means that as we assess our current resources and make plans for improvements in our libraries, we first commit to include their perspectives and voices in the areas of general service, instruction, technology, online access and resources, materials, rooms, space, furniture, fixtures, hours of operation, and even visual style and culture – it’s all about making those connections. It also means that we continue to passionately work to fully realize the objectives of our Equity and Social Justice commitments, as published on the CSU Libraries’ Equity and Social Justice webpage.”
You can help create inclusive, welcoming spaces and services for students and faculty
The Morgan and University Libraries Endowment is a critical resource that helps us bridge the gap between federal funding and user needs. And what do students and faculty need? They need inclusive, welcoming spaces and services, which are catalysts for strong collaboration, innovative thinking, and global solutions to global problems. Your support helps us ensure everyone can use our essential resources and services.
Prediction: Information for All, Without Barriers
Zahra al-Saloom (M.A. ‘22), President’s Sustainability Commission Intern
“I want us to take a more justice approach – equity is making sure people have resources they need and is different from equality. We need to start pursuing information justice by removing all barriers for people to access information, because it shouldn’t be a privilege. I’m hoping CSU takes that stance.”
Christine Pawliuk, Open Educational Resources Librarian, CSU Libraries
“CSU Libraries has been working to remove barriers to information access by promoting use of open educational resources (OER) on campus. By assigning OER at no cost to students—instead of expensive traditional textbooks— faculty can lower the cost of attendance and ensure that students have access to information necessary for success from the first day of class. The CSU Libraries provides training, monetary support and individual assistance to faculty who are adopting or creating OER for their courses. One of our biggest OER projects this year is an economics course projected to save students $70,000 per semester!”
You can help reduce barriers to information
The digital information landscape is quickly becoming more complex, and the Libraries helps the CSU community stay connected with critical information resources. The Electronic Resource and Service Fund helps us provide students and faculty with essential databases, online journals and other digital resources to empower their research and artistry.
Prediction: Helping Users with Rapidly Changing Technologies
Naveenam Asok (B.S. ‘23), IT Help Desk Employee, Division of Information Technology
“Right now, we’re getting 40-50 students every day (at the Computer Help Desk). My goal is to support more people… IT support will grow, and more and more people will rely on technology. Technology keeps changing every two to four years. I think CSU needs to adapt and stay on track with new technologies – that should be the future.
Every university should have tighter security and stronger security standards. I know CSU is implementing all of them, but they need to act quickly… I know a lot of technologies are increasing rapidly, I want CSU to keep up with that.”
Suzi White, Manager of Library Technology Services, CSU Libraries
“The best thing we can do to strengthen IT systems and adapt to a digital world is just that – adapt and be agile. We are consistently looking at the digital services we provide from our online applications to the technology available in Morgan Library to see what’s working well or what might be missing that could meet the needs of students.
We want to try things out, learn from our experiences, make changes and try again with even better outcomes. We’re doing this by collaborating with IT colleagues across the university, engaging in professional development to keep learning and gathering usage analytics where we can.”
You can help students stay on the cutting edge of technology
Every year, more than 1 million remote users access Colorado State University Libraries’ databases, digital services, and electronic resources such as laptops on long-term loan and online journals. Your support provides students, faculty, and staff with the resources they need to succeed in their academic journeys and research endeavors that push the world forward.
Prediction: Authentic Connections with Communities
Maddy Kling (B.S. ‘22), Student Employee, CSU Libraries
“We can expand and encompass what everyone needs to really dive deep into how we can connect with our community (by) getting feedback on what the library needs, allocating more funds and time to diversifying what we have at the Libraries… (It’s) also making sure LGBTQIA+ people are feeling safe and have resources to learn about their communities and making sure minority students have resources that reflect them rather than a whitewashed collection.”
Kristy Nowak, First Year and Foundational Experiences Librarian, CSU Libraries
“The Libraries formed a new collections, diversity and inclusion group that is currently working on a variety of initiatives to purchase and promote diverse and inclusive materials. We’ve started automatically purchasing award-winning books that represent diverse voices – such as winners of the Lambda Literary Awards and Black Caucus Literature Awards.
We’re also offering integrated opportunities for students to select diverse books, updating collection policies to specifically include diversity and inclusion and using virtual and in person book displays to highlight anti-racist reading lists and Pride Month books. These efforts help ensure our collection reflects CSU’s commitment to diversity and Principles of Community.”
You can help the Libraries connect with communities
The Morgan and University Libraries Endowment is a vital source of funding that ensures we can support our communities through meaningful relationships and impactful services, resources and spaces.