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Smart technology classroom in the stacks: promoting free government apps in an academic library

Dorothy Ormes (Hannon Library Government Information Department, Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Oregon, USA)

Library Hi Tech News

ISSN: 0741-9058

Article publication date: 2 March 2015




This purpose of this article is to suggest that it is possible and desirable to use iPads as a teaching tool in a dedicated classroom in the stacks at an academic library. It examines recent research on smart device use among college students and outlines a pilot program that was developed at Southern Oregon University in the Government Information Department.


The article includes a literature review of recent research that has been done about smart technology usage in the library and highlights information gained by a hands-on approach in a pilot program.


The use of smart technology in a classroom in the stacks is an effective way to engage students in the research process. Using free government apps is a no cost solution to covering a variety of topics and disciplines. Students can gain new insights in how to make their smart technology work for them while conducting research. A supplemental iPad check-out program can enable students to have new meaningful interactions with the library. However, technology does present its own set of problems that can derail the experience in unexpected ways.


Free government apps are useful learning tools for college students. These tools can be applied in any classroom where students and professor are equipped with smart devices. The classroom described is unique in that it combines the hard copy materials of the library and the use of the technology to immerse students in a total experience of searching for specific government information resources in the stacks area where the physical documents are housed.



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Dorothy Ormes has been the Government Information/Instruction Librarian at Southern Oregon University’s Hannon Library since the fall of 2011. She also worked as Government Documents librarian overseeing a large Land Grant collection of government documents at New Mexico State University from 2008 until 2011. From 2005 until 2008, she worked as an interim Technical Services librarian at Southern Oregon University. Dorothy is an avid promoter of government information in all formats and is especially interested in finding new ways to promote digital government information to help students and other patrons find available online resources.


Ormes, D. (2015), "Smart technology classroom in the stacks: promoting free government apps in an academic library", Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 32 No. 1, pp. 13-17.



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