Swain Education Library reimagined, to host student success and programming partners

Posted by Sara Volmering on

This fall, the University Libraries will transform the Swain Education Library into a space for student programming and academic support. Located in Sangren Hall, Swain will now host campus partners focused on peer tutoring, global and community engagement and student entrepreneurship, in addition to continued space for library instruction and events. Renovations to the Swain facility will be completed later this fall.

Services and programming will be offered in Swain later this fall by four campus partners:

  • Center for Community Engagement, a project within the College of Education and Human Development, focused on facilitating connections between student volunteers and community organizations
  • Global Learning Academy, the Haenicke Institute for Global Education’s hub for student collaboration and global engagement programming and projects
  • Peer Academic Success Coaching, a program of Student Success Services, connects students with support from a peer coach to help them optimize their academic performance and achieve their goals
  • Starting Gate, a student business accelerator program operated by the Haworth College of Business Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation 

Swain will remain a part of the Libraries’ facilities and help move forward their mission to fuel discovery and exploration in new ways. 

“As a library, the Swain space supported students’ academic success. It was a wonderful place to study, collaborate and learn,” said Julie Garrison, dean of University Libraries. “The reimagined Swain space will continue to foster student collaboration, engagement and academic success.”

“Our partners will support students academically and help them discover their potential in a globally connected community,” Garrison said.

The Swain space will provide each partner with the space to connect with students, provide academic support and foster community.

“The community engagement center will provide opportunities for students to expand their educational experience beyond the campus. It will enable them to make connections with local organizations and contribute to the community by volunteering their time and talents,” said Regena Fails Nelson, chair and professor in Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies.

“The space in Swain Library will be a gathering place for community organizations to share information about their programs with our students,” said Nelson. “This space makes it easier for students to find out about volunteer opportunities and community events.”

“Starting Gate has always provided student entrepreneurs with a space for collaboration and learning from others,” said Dr. Laurel Ofstein, associate professor in the Department of Management, director for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and director of operations of Starting Gate.

“Sharing this new space with the other partner programs broadens that available network and will inevitably spark creativity. Our workshops are open to all students hoping to develop an entrepreneurial mindset or to pursue an entrepreneurial idea,” said Ofstein. 

WMU’s Peer Academic Success Coaching program will utilize the Swain space for peer coaching sessions. “Peer coaches meet one-on-one with their students throughout the semester, teaching valuable skills that help these students succeed academically,” said Katie Easley, director of Student Success Services. 

Swain’s library collections, services and staff have been moved to Waldo Library, including research support, reserves, computing, printing and quiet and group study spaces. Shifting Swain’s focus was necessary as the Libraries regroups following an extended facility closure and staffing reduction.

“We’ve heard from students across the University that they need access to research and study spaces in the late evening hours and on weekends,” said Garrison. “We pivoted to ensure that Waldo Library remained fully staffed and ready for students. Waldo Library is centrally located, contains nearly all library collections and has a variety of spaces to meet student needs.”

Beginning Sept. 1, Waldo Library will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Wednesday, 7:30 a.m. to midnight Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 2 a.m. Sunday. WMU students and employees should bring a Bronco Card to enter Waldo Library after 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.