The University of Calgary Taylor Family Digital Library (TFDL) is inherently a technology-rich environment, at the leading edge of the convergence of information, communication, and media technologies. On the one hand, TFDL takes advantage of developments in mobile and wireless technologies, and assumes a user-friendly, “always on” network environment for students, faculty, staff, and even occasional visitors. On the other hand, TFDL also provides a set of learning, research, visualization, collaboration, and conference spaces with the latest in multimedia communications, utilizing high-performance audiovisual, computing, and network systems. As part of a strategic alliance with the Lois Hole Campus Alberta Digital Library, the $113M TFDL is a gathering place of scholars and community members who can access all information resources easily and efficiently.
Students and faculty members can upgrade or learn new technology-related skills through instruction in the Learning Commons. The Teaching and Learning Centre will continue to provide instruction for faculty members on Inquiry Through Blended Learning. Distance learning and videoconference-capable facilities are available for academic classes, distance education, Teaching and Learning Centre instruction, and for university-related meetings. Among a spectrum of impressive spaces and systems, the learning and research facility’s nerve center is the Visualization Studio, where research can be displayed in detail on a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall, ultra-high definition 9600 x 3600 pixel screen with high-quality surround sound.
Through the use of audiovisual and information systems, these unique and diverse spaces ultimately change the way the Calgary campus and outlying community learns. By using project and display systems, use control systems, media production systems, CATV, and wireless data networks, Calgary is shaping a new definition of multi-disciplinary study by focusing on experiential learning, problem and inquiry-based learning, and providing collaborative opportunities with faculty, archivists, librarians, and curators.
“We have made a commitment to the province to work with the other post-secondaries to make sure every student in Calgary — possibly even Southern Alberta — has access to a new digital library. That means access to our library at the U of C, and the other libraries on all of the campuses, which makes it an electronic library, a virtual library, a digital library.”
— President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Harvey P. Weingarten
Photos: Dave Brown and Bruce Perrault