Engineering students create Library floor plans for real-world experience and application

Project simulation is an effective skills learning strategy for engineering students. But sometimes the best learning experience is gained from a project where students have to work with an actual client and produce an actual product with real-world application. The latter describes a project recently completed for Milligan Libraries by students in Dr. Landon Holbrook’s Engineering Fundamentals (FENG 102) course.

Left to right: Sophomore Ian Kelly, Dr. Landon Holbrook, Freshmen Erin Forgety and Yonas Sorri, and Library Director Gary Daught

In Fall, Director of Libraries, Gary F. Daught approached Dr. Greg Harrell, Director of Engineering Programs, about the prospect of having Engineering students produce a set of revised floor plans of the P.H. Welshimer Memorial Library and the Seminary Library, located in the west wing of the B.D. Phillips Memorial Building on Emmanuel Hill. “Milligan College is preparing for its re-accreditation with The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC),” explained Daught. “The Library has to submit a narrative describing its facilities, resources, staffing, and services as part of this process. Having up-to-date floor plans of the Library’s physical facilities would greatly aid my description. We had digitized copies of the original building blueprints. But they weren’t very clean or well labeled, and they didn’t show all current library spaces. I would definitely benefit from a new set of library floor plans to include in my SACSCOC narrative.”

Dr. Harrell put Daught in touch with Dr. Landon Holbrook, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, who teaches the first year Engineering Fundamentals (FENG 102) course. It turns out that in this course students learn about taking space measurements and mapping physical spaces using computer aided drawing programs like AutoCAD. Holbrook was pleased to put his students on this project as it would give them a real-world application for the skills they were learning. Students were divided into teams, with a project manager, and they were assigned various sections of the Library buildings to measure and then translate into complete drawings using AutoCAD.

Drawing of the Main Floor of P.H. Welshimer Memorial Library completed by Engineering Fundamentals (FENG 102) students

Project manager Erin Forgety spoke about the importance of teamwork and communication. Second project manager Yonas Sorri admitted that lots of mistakes were made. “Our first attempt was a disaster! But we learned by our failures.” Professor Landon confirmed that a whole lot of mistakes were made. But a whole lot of learning also happened as a result of those mistakes. Sophomore Ian Kelly worked with the teams as project engineer, helping with error checking and formatting in AutoCAD.

In early March, Dr. Landon presented digital files of completed student floor plan drawings of the Welshimer and Seminary Library buildings to Gary Daught. “Wow!,” exclaimed Daught. “These drawings are great, and exactly what I was after. The students did an excellent job! I am really pleased to have had this opportunity to collaborate with the Engineering Department on this project.” Engineering Director, Dr. Greg Harrell indicated that this is exactly the kind of project that engineering students can expect to perform on a first job site internship. So it was a very relevant experience for the students. He also confirmed that they did a good job.

Daught wanted to express appreciation on behalf of Milligan Libraries to the Engineering Fundamentals students. So he invited Drs. Landon Holbrook and Greg Harrell, and several of the project team leaders to the Welshimer Library on Wednesday afternoon. There he presented the students with a new laser measure tool. “I know you use these tools in your coursework because I saw you in here several times over the semester with them to measure the Library. I want to present this laser measure to the Engineering Department as a small way to say Thank you! for a job well done on this project!” Daught also invited subsequent FENG 102 students to use the Library buildings to complete this project assignment in the future.

Laser measure tool gifted to the Engineering Department by Milligan Libraries

Buffs, Buttons & Brownies at Your Library!

“What?! They’re not doing The Game this year? How are we going to get new students into Welshimer Library to meet staff, and learn about our spaces and services?” That was the initial reaction of librarians to changes to the new student orientation day resulting from this year’s later start of the school year.

The Game, which had new students running around campus in small groups to visit various buildings was an ideal way for library staff to showcase the Welshimer Library. “Participating in The Game as a regular stop along the way was a simple and fun way for us to get new students into the library building right away,” says Director of Libraries Gary Daught. “By removing some of that initial intimidation and creating a positive impression of the library for new students through this event, we were fairly certain they would come to make the library a regular study spot during the school year.” With the loss of The Game to provide that early introduction, the library staff knew they needed to get creative and find an alternative.

As it happens, Daught had read an article in a library publication over the summer about a university library that teamed-up with their university archives to create a pop-up button-making space as a library outreach event. That was the answer! “We could combine a button-making space, with a self-guided tour of the Welshimer Library building, and pans of Instruction Librarian Mary Jackson’s famous brownies. The name for our new event presented itself almost immediately–Buffs, Buttons & Brownies!

The event was held during the day on Monday, August 27 from 9 am to 4 pm. By all accounts Buffs, Buttons & Brownies! was a success, with over 90 buttons made (the pop-up space continues into Tuesday) and nearly 200 brownies consumed! Mary Jackson expressed well the very positive take-away from the day: “It was a really fun event that gave us a chance to meet and connect with many new students and reacquaint ourselves with returning students. The self-guided tour was low-key and helped students familiarize themselves with the library building and staff. Everyone was very excited for the chance to make a button.” (Picture choices for the buttons were selected by College Archivist Katie Banks from archival holdings.)

Special thanks to Mary Jackson for the delicious brownies, and to Professor John Jackson for lending us his button maker. “I think this could easily become a new regular event for Welshimer Library,” says Daught. “Though I suppose we should probably buy our own button maker.”

Sesquicentennial Plaza great for outdoor library study…and impromptu concerts

Beautiful late fall days make the Sesquicentennial Plaza an ideal outdoor study space for Library users. Turns out it’s also an ideal performance space for an impromptu concert. Yesterday, Milligan College’s a cappella ensemble, Heritage was playing host to Kindred Spirit, an a cappella group from Princeton University (New Jersey), which is currently on tour in Tennessee. The fellowship between the two groups was topped-off with an informal morning concert on the Plaza. The singing was great! The space has some nice natural acoustics, too. Indeed, music professor and conductor, Noah DeLong is looking forward to using this space for similar events in the future.

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Incidentally, as my reporting on the Welshimer Library energy renovation project over the summer included updates on the construction of the Sesquicentennial Plaza (which was formally dedicated by President Bill Greer during this year’s Homecoming celebration), I should also include some photos of the painting of the pergola and lighting installation.

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Then, of course, I need to show off the lights. I love the lights!

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Archives named in recognition of longtime Milligan Library and Archives supporter

The Milligan College Archives and Archivist Lindsay Kenderes was kept very busy providing material support, research consultation, and mounting not one but three exhibits across campus leading up to this year’s very special Homecoming celebration on October 21-22, 2016 of Milligan’s 150th Anniversary. In the midst of this flurry of activity, the Archives got a name–The Holloway Archives–in honor and recognition of longtime Milligan Library and Archives supporter, Clinton J. (1995) and Adele Adinolfi (1996) Holloway.

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Archivist Lindsay Kenderes with Clinton Holloway (1995)

Clint reflected on the role the Library and Archives played on his decision to come to Milligan: “As a prospective student I remember going through the library on my campus tour and I saw a clipping from the Johnson City Press pinned to the bulletin board talking about Joe McCormick and Professor Lone Sisk and their long tenures at Milligan. This is the first I can remember becoming intrigued about the heritage of Milligan College.”

It was perhaps only natural then, that as a student Clint should work in the Library and Archives. “As a freshman I sought out Librarian Billie Oakes, who founded the Archives in 1981, and I ask her for a work-study job in the archives. I kept that job through the rest of my student days at Milligan. Actually, during my senior year in 1994-95 while Ms. Oakes took a sabbatical to work on her PhD, the College made me a part-time staff person as Archives and Special Collections Supervisor.”

Clint’s wife Adele was influenced to come to Milligan by an alumna whose grandparents had attended Milligan before the First World War. “So even though she came to Milligan sight unseen, her roots at Milligan are actually a little deeper than mine!” Clint and Adele were married by former Milligan College President, Dr. Marshall J. Leggett.

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Plaque recognizes the support of Clint (1995) and Adele (1996) Holloway and the naming of the Milligan Archives, now The Holloway Archives

After graduating from Milligan, Clint attended Emmanuel Christian Seminary. He graduated in 1998 with a Master of Arts in Religion, majoring in Church History. Not surprisingly, he wrote his thesis on the history of Milligan College. In 2014, Clint authored a book on Robert Milligan, and last year he co-authored with Lee (Fierbaugh) Harrison, Scholarship, Community, Faith: Milligan Celebrates 150 Years.

Clint and Adele have served on the Milligan College Board of Advisors and the Alumni Leadership Council. In December 2016 Clint will complete nine years as president of the Alumni Leadership Council. They currently live in Nashville, proud parents of two sons, John Campbell and Jin. “We are very proud of our alma mater. Many of our most treasured friendships were made while we were students–friendships that have remained strong for 25 years.”

Responding to news of the naming of The Holloway Archives, Director of Libraries Gary Daught said, “Clint has been intimately involved in the life and development of the Milligan Archives from his earliest days as a student all the way to the present. As a frequent user of the Archives, Clint has enriched our understanding and appreciation of the history of Milligan College. This naming recognition is perhaps as natural as it is apropos, especially in this 150th year. Thank you Clint and Adele for your support of Milligan College.”

Main stairwell loses old wallpaper, gets new coat of paint!

I don’t know how long that tan painted burlap-textured wallpaper has “graced” the main stairwell and rear entrance lobby walls of the Welshimer Library. Decades, I’ll warrant. Well, it’s gone now. Last week painters removed the wallpaper and repainted, and it looks great! I want to thank President Bill Greer who approved this project coinciding with the development of the Sesquicentennial Plaza behind the Library and the reopening of our rear entrance (which opens onto the plaza). Here are some photos chronicling the painting progress last week:

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