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tennessee technological university

Communications & Marketing

Volpe Library Third Floor Project Q&A

Is it true that you are eliminating quiet study space on the third floor?

The quiet study space in the B wing will be moved to the A wing. Space for quiet study will be created in the A wing by removing the enclosed offices so that no significant quiet study space is lost.

Are you removing books and periodicals?

We will be removing many of the paper government documents that have very low use. Some journal titles that have limited runs (for example, a set that spans from 1975-1992) will be removed because they have low use and are out-of-date sets. No books will be removed. Since space is a priority it is important that it is used as effectively as possible.

Why can't we just have a traditional library and keep books and periodicals on the shelves?

Our mission as a library hasn't changed. We support learning outside the classroom, and providing the most relevant information to students undergirds everything we do. The third floor is prime space that can better serve students by becoming home to a center for innovation, discovery and entrepreneurship.

What is the TTU H.I.V.E?

H.I.V.E. stands for Hybrid Immersive Visualization Environment. It will provide a learning environment that is vastly different from the traditional classroom. The H.I.V.E. Lab at Tennessee Tech will house an R&D team of professional research workers, developers and designers, innovative graphic artists, and undergraduate assistants all working to explore and implement current uses for tomorrow's technology. Those teams will apply virtual reality technologies to modern-day problems in medicine, engineering, communication, conservation and training. The BusinessMedia Center is partnering with Dr. Bahrat Soni to bring projects to visual life.

What is the CAVE?

The CAVE is a space that will offer a virtual reality system and will utilize both 3-D and high-definition visualization technologies. It is possible based on the expertise and experience of Dr. Bahrat Soni, TTU's vice president for research and economic development. With this system, researchers can visualize their data in a stereoscopic virtual environment. The lab can simulate and visualize wind currents through cities, blood flow through arteries, and airflow around a car or airplane. In virtual reality environments, amputees can learn to ski without risking serious injury; bomb squads can disarm explosive devices with no chance of casualties; and surgeons can make perfect incisions and perform flawless operations—before they ever touch a patient.

Who is driving this effort?

The College of Business and College of Engineering are sharing the costs of the renovation. This is a great example of the collaboration developing on campus. The BusinessMedia Center will support the CAVE and H.I.V.E. with development and creative support on grant-related projects. The Volpe Library is providing its expertise in supporting learning outside of the classroom and is reconfiguring space to best serve students.

What is this space going to be called?

The space has not been named yet, but the working titles include the concepts of innovation, discovery and learning.

What are some examples of how the space can be used?

Student work can be formal or informal programs. The space will support capstone and design programs. One example is a program offered by Mechanical Engineering Professor Stephen Canfield where teams have an idea for a product and have 10 weeks to develop it into a viable product. That project will engage juniors and seniors along with graduate students. The space could host competitions such as hackathons, where teams work 36-72 hours on the best app to solve a common challenge. The space will be open access and offer 3-D printers and other equipment. This space promises to be a great place to develop products and to explore creating new businesses.