Expand Your Definition of Library

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Funded by the Affordable Learning Exchange (ALX) grant programLending Libraries not only save students money and time, but encourage recycling of frequently used materials.  

Mary Anne Beecher, Design Department Chair, recognized students in the Foundations Design Program were often required to buy materials and tools that were only used for a short amount of time, or even discarded after use. To eliminate financial burdens and waste, Beecher determined what tools needed to be purchased individually, and which tools could be purchased with the ALX grant to be shared amongst students via Lending Libraries.  

In addition to tools, Sebastien Proulx, Associate Professor of Design, also utilized an ALX grant to conceptualize a Scrapbrary,’or scrap library, that allows students to donate and share scraps on portable carts. Like Lending Libraries, Scrapbraries will save time and money by encouraging students to save consumable materials, while also cutting down on waste. 

 The Lending Libraries are estimated to cut design students’ supply costs in half. Deborah Scott, Department of Art Lecturer, acknowledges that while this project is different, it has the potential to shape the way design courses are offered. “It challenges you to expand your definition of library,” Scott said. 

Learn more about how Art and Design instructors are making a difference in the lives of students with this video: