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November 18, 2010
By Claudene Wharton
It may be the easiest choice Nevadans have been asked to make in a long time. The University of Nevada, Reno’s Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center has been chosen as one of only eight finalists in a national contest whose winner will be showcased on video in Times Square in New York City. The University is asking Nevadans and friends to simply log on and vote for its state-of-the-art, high-tech library, which opened just two years ago.
The “Focus on Your Library Contest” is being sponsored by Thomson Reuters, whose Web of Knowledge popular research database is used by students, faculty and visitors at the Knowledge Center.
“The Web of Knowledge is a standard, must-have for larger universities,” said Ann Medaille, reference and instruction librarian at the Knowledge Center. “It’s used very widely, especially in the sciences, but really across disciplines, by faculty and students.”
Medaille wrote the essay that earned Nevada a spot among the top seven finalists. She says that Nevada needs people to log on and cast their votes, as it is going up against some stiff competition, such as Texas Tech, Louisiana State and Northern Arizona universities.
Still, Medaille says Nevada’s Knowledge Center is as deserving as any of the other finalists. In her essay, she wrote that the center “represents the library of the future – one that combines the traditional pursuit of knowledge with high-tech, multimedia resources and flexible, collaborative spaces that enable students and researchers to connect, explore and create.”
She also quoted one student who commented, “You can do anything here. It made me want to learn more, knowing that we have these resources here.” Another student said, “Just the amount and depth of stuff here is mind-blowing.”
Medaille also wrote about the staff’s efforts to educate students and faculty about the services the Center provides. They provide a week of workshops at the beginning of each semester that give information on using the Center to do research and mapping, make posters, produce videos and more. She said they also visit more than 300 classes each year to help educate students on the Center’s services.
Medaille said people can vote for Nevada’s Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center multiple times up until the deadline, Nov. 30.
“It would be really cool to have our center featured in Times Square,” she said, “I hope everyone will get on and give us their votes. But, it’s also really an honor just being chosen as one of only seven finalists.”