Library debuts own ‘Genius Bar’

By Jesse Rosales

The University Library debuted its version of a “Genius Bar” on Feb. 14 as part of the library’s new service designed to assist students in reaching academic success, as well as traversing the entirety of the university’s various services and entities available to them.

The library’s reference bookshelves have been replaced by staff for what is now the new Knowledge Center Service.

Nicole Barcarse is a first-year aerospace engineering student and staffed as a Knowledge consultant who described the new service as an overall aid for students.

“They just took everything and mashed it together,” stated Barcarse.

The new Knowledge Center Service combines all the services the library has to offer as well as other services on campus into one convenient location for students. This means students no longer have to be confused about which desk in the library to go to.

“We were trying to think of a way that makes sure that the service was in their face,” said head of Public Services Emma Gibson. “This type of openness will help with that.”

Gibson explained that the staff will be made up of students, librarians and representatives from various entities on campus during scheduled times.

The openness of the Knowledge Center draws its inspiration from the Apple Store’s “Genius Bar,” where knowledge consultants are available to help with any question or consultation. Cal Poly Pomona is the first California State University to offer this unique library service.

“Imagine us as an airport. So students are here and they are going to their different destinations,” said Dean of the Library Ray Wang. “So we are here to facilitate their journey to make sure you have the right tickets, gate number, flight changes and this and that. Just like an airport, we’ll help you to find it. Whatever you need for your journey, let’s work together.”

Second-year sociology student Tim Macias is staffed as a Knowledge Consultant.

“I think it’s a really good layout. I don’t like to feel like I have to stay behind a desk. I want to move around. I don’t like to point. I want to be able to, like, go help somebody,” said Macias.

This new service hopes to break down any intimidation one might have in seeking help. Whether it’s a freshman using the library for the first time or a senior who’s been too scared to ask for help on a project, the Knowledge Center will help in every step.

“If the student has any type of questions about any services, instead of walking over there to where their office is located, they can do that here,” said Provost Sylvia Alva.

The launch of the Knowledge Center has been described as a soft launch by Alva because the service does expect to make changes and adapt to the students’ needs.

“This is step one of a long journey, but the first step is always the most important,” said Alva.

The Knowledge Center made its debut on Feb. 14 during U-Hour

Jesse Rosales / The Poly Post

The Knowledge Center made its debut on Feb. 14 during U-Hour

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