Classrooms, Meeting Rooms, and Offices

Appendix CC: Facilities Table shows the facilities available to the chool by room type. Several years ago, SILS added computers with network connections and ceiling-mounted projectors to each of the classrooms it controls. This capability greatly enhances the teaching methods that can be used, allowing instructors to support their lectures with slides that can be shared with students before or after the class, to work out examples in class using the same automated tools that the students will use to complete assignments, and to discuss information resources available via the internet. Most faculty now take advantage of these resources, incorporating them in some or all of their class planning.

The meeting room space in Manning Hall, in addition to supporting administrative activities, supports collaborative research. SILS faculty and student groups often work on research and development projects in small groups; these efforts take place primarily in the small classrooms and meeting rooms (215, 303, 304). However, because classes are so frequently scheduled in them, it is often difficult to find space for this desireable activity. Additional space devoted to this purpose would benefit both student projects and faculty research efforts.

Each full-time faculty member at SILS currently has a private office. This arrangement facilitates individual work with students and also allows each person to have quiet time for research and the planning of teaching. Adjunct and part-time faculty now share one office; no empty office space is currently available to SILS. If the faculty were to grow as we anticipate, additional office space will be needed. We need additional office space now, to support visiting faculty and better support the adjunct faculty and graduate teaching assistants who often have difficulty in meeting privately with their students.

In addition, the newly hired Director of Communications has no office; a makeshift cubicle arrangement in the main office has been set up for him but it is inadequate. Our lab classroom is in constant use for classes, but without the use of these computers, students complain, with good reason, that there are not enough machines to enable them to do their work in timely fashion (see Appendix L: Survey of Current Students - Section I on Facilities). We also need additional lab space for networking classes; these currently use one corner of the lab equipped with eight PCs.

SILS Library and Other Campus Library Resources

The SILS Library is part of an Information and Technology Resource Center (ITRC), remodeled in 1995. This combined facility offers a state-of-the-art library and technology resources in a combined facility. Back-to-back help desks serve both areas permitting staff to assist clients in either facility as needed. The ITRC is open 82 hours a week, with extended hours during examination periods.

The SILS Library ( is administratively part of the main library system that provides funding for the two full time staff members, the book and serials collections, and a number of student assistants. The school provides the space for the collections, the reading room, the library workroom, an office for the librarian and one for the library technical assistant who shares his office space with the shelf list, the photocopier, and the student assistant check-in area. The school also provides additional funding for student assistants, subscriptions to a number of journals and professional memberships, and for equipment. The SILS library is fortunate to have computing support from the SILS directors of information technology and instructional technology, who have provided an outstanding array of work and public service software and equipment.

The SILS Library collection includes over 86,000 volumes. There are current subscriptions to approximately 1,017 serial titles. The reading room provides group and individual study areas for 40 users, with additional seating for four in easy chairs near the new book shelves and recent periodicals, and one easy chair in the Susan Steinfirst Children’s Book Alcove. It also contains the reference collection; six sit-down computer workstations giving access to online library resources, CD-ROMs, the Internet and e-mail, and one stand-up computer giving access to the online catalog resources. There are two tables available in the stacks for individual study, and two computer stations dedicated to special class projects.

Through the university libraries, SILS students have access to a wide array of online indexes/databases. Of particular note is NCLive, a consortial initiative allowing North Carolina libraries to serve as a gateway to a rich array of electronic resources, many of which are full-text, from the following vendor services: EBSCO, CARL, OCLC FirstSearch, SilverPlatter, Bell & Howell ProQuest Direct. In addition, all computers in the school provide access to several databases specific to library and information science: Library Literature, LISA, and ERIC, among others.

Library materials expenditures for the university system for 1997/98 were $8,896,813. The unit count of volumes in all formats was 9,260,259.

Library materials expenditures for the SILS library for 1998/99 were $101,570.62 The unit count of volumes in the SILS Library as of 30 June 1999 was 86,753 (microforms were transferred to the Wilson Library during the renovation in 1995).

By comparison the last COA Self-Study reported materials expenditures for the SILS Library of $45,739. The unit count of volumes and microforms in the SILS Library on 30 June 1991 was 81,379.

Staff funding

SILS Laboratories and University Computing Resources

The school offers what we believe is one of the best student computing facility of any school of information and library science in the world. The 55-seat computer lab, located in the school's Information Technology and Resource Center in Manning Hall, is equipped with state-of-the-art hardware and software. Available exclusively to students enrolled in our courses, the lab is divided into two adjacent areas - a computer classroom and an open use area.

The computer classroom supports hands-on instruction for the many SILS classes that meet there on a regular basis. The classroom gives students an opportunity to engage in participatory, rather than passive learning. As part of their classroom experience, students may use scanners connected to their PCs to scan photos, other images, and text for projects such as the creation of Web pages; they engage in live video conferences over the Internet with others worldwide.

Students view instructor presentations and demonstrations projected to a screen in the front of the room through the aid of a Proxima 9310 video projector. The instructor's screen may also be displayed directly onto each of the 31 student computer monitors, allowing students at the rear of the room to view presentations easily. Specifically, each of the 31 student workstations in the classroom is a Dell Optiplex Pentium II 266Mhz PC. Each is equipped with 64MB of RAM, 4MB of AGP video, a 6GB disk drive, 24X CD-ROM, internal ZIP drive, a Logitech PageScan color scanner, wavetable sound card, an NEC 17-inch multimedia monitor, an Intel Smart Video Recorder III video capture card, and an Intel video conferencing camera. The classroom instructor also works from an identically equipped machine. When it is not reserved for SILS classes, the computer classroom is available for general use.

The 24-seat open use area of the lab is available to SILS students any time that the school's Information and Technology Resource Center is open (typical hours are from 8 am-10 pm weekdays, 11 am-5 pm Saturdays, and 12 noon-10 pm Sundays). The general use area of the lab includes 24 Dell OptiPlex 400Mhz Pentium II PCs, each with 128MB of RAM, a 9GB SCSI drive, 32X CD-ROM, ZIP drive, sound, and a 17-inch Triniton monitor. Two of the machines are set up as scanning stations and are connected to HP 4c color flat-bed scanners, and two are also set up as CD-R and video capture stations. The video capture stations include a Yamaha 4X CD-ROM writable CD-ROM drive and a Broadway MPEG video capture card. Each is connected to an S-VHS VCR to facilitate video capture and editing.

Peripherals in the lab include a networked HP 4000 Postscript laser printer, a networked HP 8100 DN postscript laser printer, an HP 1200 postscript color ink-jet printer, a Sony Mavica digital camera, an Apple QuickTake digital camera, and a Sony Hi-8 camcorder. Students can borrow the cameras and camcorder for school projects.

To support the individual desktops in the lab, the school maintains several Windows NT-based file servers. The primary file and print server for the school is a Dell PowerEdge 4100 server with dual Pentium Pro 200Mhz processors, 256MB of RAM, and a 24GB RAID array. This server stores most of the school's application software and provides a shared disk where students can store their own files.

A MicroTest DiscPort 14 drive CD-ROM tower provides shared access to bibliographic databases on CD such as Library and Information Science Abstracts, Library Literature, Computer Select and ERIC. This server allows students to search databases from every machine in the school. Finally, a Dell PowerEdge 2300 Server with dual 400Mhz processors, 512MB of RAM, and 36GB of RAID 5 disk acts as a database application server for students learning to integrate Web and database technologies. It runs Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS) in conjunction with NT server and also provides shared disk space for students creating large multimedia projects. Students in database management classes use this server to create and manipulate their database projects.

All desktop computers in the lab and the school itself are connected to a departmental switched ethernet network. Every machine on the network has its own dedicated full-duplex 10MB port, while all file servers in the school have dedicated 100MB ethernet connections. On a traditional ethernet, each machine shares the bandwidth with many other machines. On a switched network such as the one in SILS, each machine receives a dedicated pipe; it doesn't share the bandwidth with other machines. This speeds network access as there is less contention for resources. The system is also especially well suited for multimedia networking. The school's network is connected to the UNC campus fiber network over a 100MB full-duplex switched FDDI (Fiber Data Distributed Interface) connection and subsequently to the Internet via a 155MB ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) connection. The university is a participant in the Internet2 project and the North Carolina GigaPOP initiative and currently has in place a second 155MB ATM connection to Internet2. Internet2 promises to provide substantially more backbone capacity than is present on the current Internet, resulting in faster access for current users and the potential for new Internet applications in the future.

In addition to the desktop PCs and NT-based file servers in the school, several Unix machines are available. The primary Unix machine in the school is "Ruby," a Sun Enterprise 450 that runs Solaris 2.6. Ruby is equipped with three 300Mhz UltraSparc processors, 2GB of RAM, and 180GB of disk. Ruby is the general purpose Unix machine available exclusively to SILS students, faculty, and staff. Students use Ruby for e-mail, Web services, and as a platform for applications development. In addition to Ruby, the school maintains several other Unix machines. Two Sun Ultra II's and two Sun Ultra I's support faculty research on information retrieval and digital libraries; an IBM RS/6000 runs AIX; and approximately 10 Linux boxes are used to support a course in Unix Systems administration. Each small group of students in the course has its own Linux server to manage.

A large selection of software is available on all PCs in the lab and the school tries to remain current with the latest releases. All PC applications are Windows 2000 or Windows NT-based. Some of the packages in the lab include: Microsoft Word, Works, Publisher, Excel, Access, Front Page, Sun Java Studio, Cold Fusion, Project, Internet Explorer, NetMeeting, PowerPoint, Visual C++, Visual Basic, Visual J++, Visual InterDev, Oracle, SAS, SPSS, Mathematica, Telnet, WS-FTP, Netscape Communicator Suite, HomeSite, Siren Mail, XOnNet32 X Windows server, ABC Flowcharter, Micrographix Designer, Micrographix Picture Publisher, Adobe PhotoShop, Acrobat, PowerGoo, Extreme 3D, Pointcast, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premier, MacroMedia Director, Goldwave, GIF Animator, MapThis ImageMap Creator, and the Real Player.

Popular Unix applications include Pine for e-mail, gcc, SMART, lynx, perl, Mathematica, MySQL, PHP3, web development software, and tin for news. Access to commercial database services such as Dialog, OCLC, and Lexis/Nexis is also available from every machine in the school.

Student assistants at the lab help desk are available to answer questions. During the regular semester, the lab is open seven days a week for approximately 82 hours each week.

In addition to the computer lab, computing facilities available to students extend elsewhere into Manning Hall. All classrooms are wired to the network and include instructor PCs and ceiling-mounted projectors. The school's library includes seven computer searching stations. The library, as well as the SILS student lounge has ports where students can plug laptops into the network. The Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRSS) ( maintains a statistical computing laboratory in the basement of the building, and Metalab ( one of the world's most popular Web sites, is located in Manning as well. Metalab houses a rich and diverse collection of materials. Metalab Director Paul Jones is a member of the school's faculty.

The school also has a new research lab -- The Interaction Design Lab (IDL) ( -- to support student and faculty research in human computer interaction, digital libraries, and multimedia networking. The lab has eleven Dell 400Mhz PCs running NT Workstation, Windows 98 or Windows 2000. Each includes 256MB of RAM, a 24X CD and a 9GB SCSI drive.

Assessment of Physical Resources and Facilities in Relation to ALA/COA Standards

"A program has access to physical resources and facilities that are sufficient to the accomplishment of its objectives. Physical facilities provide a functional learning environment for students and faculty; enhance the opportunities for research, teaching, service, consultation, and communication; and promote efficient and effective administratiion of the school's program, regardless of the forms or locations of delivery. "
Manning Hall contains a number of meeting rooms, offices, and project areas that together provide a functional learning and collaborative environment, although space is cramped and rapidly becoming less adequate. All full time faculty currently have individual offices, that provide quiet space for meetings with students and conducting individual research, but we are unable to provide such space for adjunct faculty, visiting professors, or doctoral students who are teaching classes.

Seven classrooms are available; in practice, only four are extensively used. One is a very auditorium and scheduled by the registrar primarily for large undergraduate classes; another is our combination seminar/meeting room; a third is a very small room that is now scheduled by the registrar and so frequently occupied by classes from other departments. As we add more classes (and project even more with the planned undergraduate program), competition for classroom space becomes keen.

Classrooms with computer facilities greatly expand the teaching options available to faculty, allowing instructors to present lectures that incorporate slides, web pages, and participative learning experiences. Most faculty now take advantage of these and other classroom resources to create class web pages and multimedia class presentations. They often assign multimedia projects. Two ATN permanently dedicated videoconferencing facilities also provide opportunities to collaborate in the classroom and on projects with students and colleagues at other universities.

Doctoral students require larger facilities that are less removed from the rest of the School. They are currently located on the 6th floor of the library stacks. As many teach undergraduate students, it is important to provide accessible private spaces where they can consult with students as well as work on their research.

"Instructional and research facilities and services for meeting the needs of students and faculty include access to library and multimedia resources and services, computer and other information technologies, accommodations for independent study, and media production facilities."
SILS Information and Technology Resource Center includes state-of-the-art library and technology resources in one setting. The classroom and lab space support hands-on instruction, practice, and learning. Lab space contains more than 50 Dell PC's as well as printers and projection equipment. Two machines are set up as scanning stations and two as CD-R and video capture stations. The ITRC is open 82 hours a week and can be used by students for both independent work and for collaborative exercises.

Lab space for students is minimally adequate if no class is being taught in the lab classroom. When it is, heavy competition for machines occurs. The addition of more undergraduate classes will add further burdens on the lab.

The student lounge is tiny and cramped. A make-shift lounge area was created behind a busy workroom in the main office for staff. Faculty have no lounge area and often regret the lack of a place for easy exchange of ideas.

The Interaction Design Laboratory (IDL) provides meeting space and computer facilities for students and faculty concentrating on research on human computer interaction. Located on the 4th floor of the SILS library stack area (an area without windows and with poor ventilation), the lab houses ten computers in two small labs suitable for independent research work and group research projects.

Many faculty manage research projects -- some of substantial complexity. With the exception of the IDL, no research project space is available to faculty. When faculty direct a funded project that often involves the use of specialized equipment and the hiring of additional staff, there are no facilities to support their needs.

Only one room is available for committee work, research project meetings, faculty meetings, meeting with alumni, practicitioners and employer groups. Occasionally the room is scheduled for a seminar class which means even less availability for meetings concerned with administrative, research, or service activities.

"The staff and the services provided for a program by libraries, media centers, and information technology facilities, as well as all other support facilities, are sufficient for the level of use required and specialized to the degree needed. These facilities are appropriately staffed, convenient, accessible to the disabled, and available when needed, regardless of forms or locations of delivery of the school's program."
The SILS library collection includes over 86,000 volumes. The reading room provides tables and study areas for 40 students to work in groups or individually. It also contains the Susan Steinfirst Children's Book collection, a reference collection, and six CS-ROM workstations. These resources provide faculty, staff, and students with access to the latest journals and monographs related to their research, teaching and professional interests. The librarian is well regarded by faculty. She makes every attempt to involve faculty in collection decisions. She also serves as a member of the Master's Committee and the Information Technology. The library is also supported by a second full time staff member and a varying number of student assistants. In addition to its collection space on four stack floors, it provides space for a workroom, the librarian's office, and workspace for the library technical assistant. Office space is adequate, but neither the collection space nor the workroom are adequate.

Students and faculty have access to a wide variety of inline indexes/databases through the SILS library and the university library system. NC-LIVE provides a gateway to a rich array of electronic resources, many of which are full text. In addition, all the computers in the SILS library and faculty offices provide access to serial resources specific to library science, including Library Literature,LISA, and ERIC.

Some of the advantages and shortcomings of the information technology laboratory are addressed above in relation to physical facilities. In terms of staff support, although the directors are knowledgeable and helpful, the scope of resource help required and the number of hours in which the lab is open mean that it is often staffed with student assistants who may not be able to answer student questions. The wide range of research interests of the faculty also make it difficult for the small support staff to be supportive of all their needs.

A new elevator was installed a few years back to address access for the disabled (the older elevator was often out of service for periods of time). Wider doors for the library and lab were also installed as part of a major renovation to these facilties three years ago.

"The school's planning and evaluation process includes review of the adequacy of access to physical resources and facilities for the delivery of a program. Within applicable institutional policies, faculty, staff, students, and others are involved in the evaluation process."

The adequacy of access to physical materials and facilities has been included in recent SILS faculty, alumni, and student surveys. The faculty survey included questions concerning the adequacy of the space available for offices, graduate assistants, and research (see Appendix DD: Faculty Survey of Physical Resources and Technology). The student survey solicited comments on the strengths of SILS facilities and services (see Appendix L: Survey of Current Students). Results of these surveys have been analyzed and discussed by the Information Technology Committee and the faculty as whole.

In addition to these activities, the new dean evaluated the current security system and had the building completely rekeyed. She also was instrumental in some refurbishing of the premises and the provision of new office furniture, and the new lounge area for the staff.

Revised 10/25/99