The DeLaMare Library, located in the Mackay School of Mines, offers a range of resources for students in the STEM majors. The technology available for borrowing has recently expanded to include fun gadgets like maker kits, LEGO Mindstorms and button makers.
In 2012, the library was the first academic library in the United States to offer 3D printing and scanning to students. This past year, DeLaMare has 3D-printed 797 pieces or objects over the course of 282 jobs.
The library began several years ago as a lender of basic technologies, such as headphones and graphing calculators, and then expanded to Lego Mindstorm kits, Arduinos and more by the mid to late 2000s. The first Oculus Rift was acquired in 2013, and it was the original developer kit. A computer science student had donated it to the library, and the collection of technology has been expanding and changing since then.
"There are two types of thinking for us when buying technology: cutting edge technology that students otherwise wouldn't have access to due to cost and availability, and technology that we know is being used or could be used in classes immediately, " said Tara Radniecki, engineering librarian. She recalls the first time that the library had a pair of Google Glasses, and that students were trying them on and suggesting things to improve their technological capabilities.
As the engineering librarian, Radniecki is available to help students in the College of Engineering with their research and teaching needs, whether it’s literacy instruction, purchasing necessary materials or other library related services.
“I might teach graduate students how to do an in-depth literature review, talk to undergraduates about the different types of information available and what they might use in their career, or work with faculty to make sure [DeLaMare] has the things they need,” Radniecki said.
The technology available to use isn’t just for engineering students. Radniecki says that there is technology like 3D scanners for psychology and anthropology students, along with a recording studio that can potentially appeal to journalism students looking to create a podcast or radio story.
Engineering students also make use of hand tools, vinyl cutters for stickers, and printing.
“When it’s bridge and hovercraft building season, everyone is welcome to work here,” Radniecki said.
In addition to large spaces meant for group study and quiet spaces, there is also the Lilli Brant Reading Room available for students to book online. A private and welcoming space, Radniecki says the goal is to create a place where math and science can also be exposed to the arts. A piano is in the reading room, and the music department recently held recitals in the space.
“We want to make sure that all students are comfortable here. There are adjustable desks, writable walls, and a variety software. DeLaMare often experiments with services and equipment on a smaller scale and if successful, can be implemented elsewhere,” Radniecki said.
Consultations, maps, research guides and more from DeLaMare can be found on the library's website.