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Baldwin Center for Learning and Teaching moves from Kanbar into Hawthorne-Longfellow Library

February 18, 2022

Mary Henthorn
CENTRAL LOCATION: Director of the Baldwin Center for Learning and Teaching and Lecturer in Education Katie Byrnes noted that centers for learning and teaching are typically located in libraries at other institutions.

After swiping into the double doors of Hawthorne-Longfellow Library (H-L), walking past the circulation desk and passing the printing station, students can now see an addition to the back of the library. Filled with comfortable chairs and dimmed lighting, the Baldwin Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT) is making a home out of its new space.

The CLT, previously situated in the front portion of Kanbar Hall, was integrated within the library this spring to better serve students.

“I think the big impetus to move us here was to be in a more central location. A lot of centers for learning and teaching are located in libraries [since that’s] where students go to do their work or do their research. To then have [our] services around … makes a lot of sense,” Director of the Baldwin Center for Learning and Teaching and Lecturer in Education Katie Byrnes said.

Byrnes oversees all CLT programs and helped to facilitate the move.

The CLT has five programs for students, with professional staff and trained students leading each of the programs. From Academic Coaching to Quantitative Reasoning Tutors, the center prides itself in helping students in all spheres of academic prowess.

“In the past, the [CLT] just focused on learning and just had student services. In the last five to six years, we’ve also done more with faculty development. So, we work with faculty around teaching and students around learning,” Byrnes said.

One of the several programs offered to faculty includes a year-long Faculty Fellows program, which helps faculty workshop courses to be more equitable and inclusive.

“In the past, we have also done ‘teaching triangles’ where faculty choose or get put into groups of three to learn from one another. They go see each other teach, and then they get together and have a conversation about teaching, learning, students and what they observed,” Byrnes said. “It’s a non-evaluative way to get in each other’s classrooms and talk about teaching and learning and be inspired by different things.”

Unfortunately, the center has seen less foot traffic than anticipated after the move.

“I would say so far we’ve seen [fewer] students than usual, but typically we do see [fewer] students in the spring. The fall is big, especially with first years and [those] in first-year writing seminars … But I would say [that] being here hasn’t made more students come in, [though] I think the students who have come in and thestudents that work for us are really liking the new space. It feels very welcoming to them,” Brynes said.

Moving to the library has helped the CLT begin to collaborate much closer with the library and integrate their regular services.

“We usually do a write-in midway through the semester, and students come in and just work on writing, and we’ve had a librarian come over in the past to be there, but obviously it’s much easier now that we’re in the same space,” Byrnes said. “[We] have access to research librarians to help with research writing and then you also have writing assistants here to help with any other kinds of writing that you’re doing.”


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