The 21st century has seen important developments at the Schurz Library and Learning Resource Center. A required information literacy course, Q110, was added to the General Education curriculum. This course continues to be taught by librarians both in person and online. Greater emphasis was placed on programming and outreach, with the addition of a Schurz Library Speaker Series, the One Book/One Campus program and Library Prize for Undergraduate Research. The Learning Resource Center actively reached out to the campus and public by offering workshops, tours, and open houses to showcase its many services and collections. Examples include the Early Childhood Conference held on the IUSB campus from 1999 to 2011 and elementary student math camps held in conjunction with South Bend School Corporation from 2013 to 2017. In 2007, the Learning Resource Commons became the Educational Resource Commons to better reflect the increasingly broad range of its activities and offerings.
As collections and course formats shifted more toward digital, the library needed to add working spaces with access to computers for students to be able to access the Internet, do research, and complete assignments. The spaces also needed to include comfortable seating where students could work individually or in groups. With this vision in mind, library director Michele Russo worked with the Office of Development to secure funding for an Information Commons in the library that would meet all of these needs.
Thanks to the philanthropy of Dorene and Jerry Hammes, the Hammes Information Commons opened inside the Schurz Library in 2007. The Information Commons was a collaborative effort of the Schurz Library, Instructional Media Services, and Information Technologies.
The Dorene Dwyer Media Commons opened two years later in 2009. Upon opening, it featured a small offering of beverages and snacks, media viewing and listening stations, a renovated circulation area, and a state-of-the-art multimedia production studio, with expert assistance provided by Instructional Media Services staff.
Also in 2009, Michele Russo became the first library director of any IU regional campus to receive the title of Dean. She was succeeded by Dean Vicki Bloom in 2010. Under Dean Bloom’s leadership (2010-2020), the Schurz Library celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014; began several digitization initiatives; ushered in a Scholarly Communications program; and expanded its assessment activities. (For more information, view the presentation “Franklin D. Schurz Library: 25 Years of Student Engagement” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZjy70b7c6w.) The Schurz Library also received an endowed gift from emeritus professor of music David Barton and his wife, Evelyne “Evie” Barton, in 2017. The donation honors David’s late mother, who was a librarian.
The Educational Resource Commons (ERC), which had outgrown its space in the aging Greenlawn Hall location, moved to the newly-renovated Education and Arts building in August 2013.
With the move, the ERC increased in size from 1600 sq. ft. to 4700 sq. ft., providing the campus community with larger and more welcoming facilities for its book library, computer stations, 3D and poster printing services, and production area. Soon after the move to the new location, long-time donor Dorothy J. Wiekamp made a large gift to the ERC in September 2013. Subsequently, the ERC's name was changed to the Dorothy J. Wiekamp Educational Resource Commons (WERC).
Photos courtesy of the IU South Bend Archives.
Last reviewed: 08/2021