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Library opens new writing and math service facilities

Centers of academic attention

Library opens new writing and math service facilities

Contact: Heather Smith

​Park Library literally is centered on Central Michigan University student and faculty success.

And the proof is in two newly relocated service centers prominently positioned on the library's third floor.

As part of the CMU summer construction projects, the Writing Center and Mathematics Assistance Center both were moved from the back corner of the library's fourth floor to more convenient spaces near the atrium on the third floor. All services are available by appointment or on a drop-in basis.

It's all included in the CMU Park Library Master Plan that provides flexibility for ever-evolving learning space needs among students and faculty. The plan, coordinated by CMU facilities management, was developed with input from students, faculty and staff.

The new locations are more spacious, showered in natural light and create more engaging learning environments.

“By seeing the center and the students inside using it, others will see that this is a service available for writers in all disciplines.” — Dan Lawson

Ask Tristan Howard, a junior mathematics and physics major, who is in his third semester as a tutor in the Mathematics Assistance Center.

"The natural light, which we didn't really have in the previous location, really makes things feel more open, and more people want to come in," said Howard, of Dowagiac, Michigan. "I've already worked with some students — they've been regulars at the center the past few years, — who have commented on how much they like the light and openness of the new space."

Both centers actually are nearly 400 square feet larger than their previous locations.

The locations are key to connecting with students, said Dan Lawson, Writing Center director and English faculty member.

"We're hoping that being in a more visible location will increase the number of students we serve," he said, noting that center consultants hosted nearly 15,000 student sessions last year. "By seeing the center and the students inside using it, others will see that this is a service available for writers in all disciplines."

Writing Center

The College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences oversees this center as well as two other locations, in Anspach Hall and the Towers. Students from a variety of majors provide assistance with writing, at any level and for any discipline.Wrap-Library centers.jpg

Emily Riley has served as a Writing Center consultant for four years. She said the more prominent location has great potential to spark students' interests as they walk through the library.

"I hope people will notice us on their own rather than being required by their professors to come to the center," said Riley, an English and computer science major from Bay City, Michigan. "This makes it easier for people to find us and to take advantage of a great resource that's readily available to them."  

Mathematics Assistance Center

Tutors from the department of mathematics help students learn problem-solving skills that will bring clarity to any level of mathematics. Wrap2-Library centers.jpg

The new location in the library provides much-needed extra space for the tutoring services, said Reggie Becker, director of the center. Last year, the center had more than 11,000 users.

"During peak times, the old location could get quite crowded. Having a bigger, more open space helps students feel more comfortable," Becker said. "The new location was needed to continue the growth of the MAC's impact on students' achievement in mathematics and statistics."

In addition to the library, the Mathematics Assistance Center has a second location in the Towers. Both locations handle mathematics from algebra to business calculus, and the library center also handles statistics and the more advanced courses.

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