Library Experience

Library Experience Intro

Imagine a library experience that is...

A synergistic blend of interactive learning labs, collaborative workplaces, information and data centers, and a center for community programs and exhibits.

Enhanced with library content, human expertise and enabling technologies, that provides a comprehensive, hands-on and interactive learning experience for students.

Designed to enhance learning with online resources so professors can teach in dynamic ways, such as integrating an interactive online exhibit or using the Libraries' video conferencing capabilities to set up a mock debate with other institutions.

This is the experience we are striving for at OU Libraries.

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Transforming the library experience begins by: 

Envisioning a Master Renovation Plan

The Master Renovation Plan is a comprehensive plan for facility improvements and capital investments to support current and future library needs.

These renovations bring the library into the everyday lives of students and faculty, while providing the capability to support an evolving agenda of academic and public initiatives.

Establishing a Collaborative Learning Center

The revitalized Lower Level 1 Neustadt wing supports and enhances active learning and collaborative group work.

This space would allow students to work on group projects, utilize geo-spatial tools, edit video for a class, analyze data in the humanities in ways never before possible, or simply sit down for coffee with friends.

Enhancing Information Discovery

Transforming the virtual experience involves upgrading our information discovery system to acquire the next generation of systems that integrate library discovery, the next generation system will integrate the delivery of content across the OU enterprise and support personalization as well as collaborative content creation.

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Learn more about the Collaborative Learning Center


This area was designed to promote a collaborative atmosphere for students to work on group projects, to utilize geo-spatial tools, to edit video for a class, to analyze data in the humanities in ways never before possible, or to simply sit down for coffee and conversation with friends. Key features of the renovated space include:

  • A centralized service point where users can seek assistance with expert staff, with an emphasis on technological use and support
  • A community room that provides a library venue for special events such as poetry readings, symposiums, and workshops
  • A high-tech collaborative classroom that supports the library instruction program as well as campus workshops. The room will have an instructor’s station and 30 laptops available for student use 
  • Two digital studios-one for faculty and one for students- will be available for creating audiovisual products that can be edited using the CLC’s public computers
  • Eight group study rooms with varying furniture configurations that students may reserve for working on group projects
  • A renovated Bookmark Cafe offering coffee and other beverages as well as a snack-style menu

Opening in the Fall 2014 semester, the Peggy V. Helmerich Collaborative Learning Center brings to life a new vision for the future of University Libraries.

Library Experience Example Discovery


Transforming the virtual experience involves upgrading to next-generation information discovery systems that integrate the delivery of content across the OU enterprise and support personalization as well as collaborative content creation.

The new discovery platform at University of Oklahoma Libraries searches across databases, our local holdings, and web resources to provide seamless discovery of a majority of our resources in a single search. In the center of the Libraries' website is a search box labeled Discover! used for finding articles, books, newspaper articles, and reviews. It also provides recommendations for similar materials, provides enhanced options for refining search results, and gives improved access to open access materials and institutional repositories.

In January 2015, OU Libraries will migrate away from Sirsi-Dynix as the backend of our public catalog, and the Discover interface will become the primary interface for retrieving items in our physical collections. During the Fall 2014 semester, our personnel will be developing tools to assist researchers in this transition. This move allows us to streamline workflows and take better advantage of cooperative cataloging so more attention can be 
paid to making our unique special collections discoverable.

To try the new system, visit: Discover! @ OU Libraries.

Library Service Center

Library Service Center

Twenty-first century university libraries differ significantly from those of the past.  Libraries are becoming more user-centered, with an increased focus on providing value-added services. As OU Libraries moves forward it must reimagine library spaces.  As library spaces are reconfigured for current and future needs, some library collections and services will be relocated to a Library Service Center (LSC).

With the availability of the former Saxon space off of Highway 9, a team has been appointed to explore similar facilities at peer institutions, make recommendations for renovations supporting relocated services and collections, and develop a phased staffing program for the LSC.  Once plans are approved, the team will be responsible for activating plans, communicating changes, and meeting completion deadlines to accommodate renovations and the relocation of resources and services.

With some of the physical collection moved off-site, more space will be available in Bizzell Memorial Library and our branch libraries, enabling us to rethink services offered and giving us flexibility for recommendations made during the Master Renovation Plan.