The University Record, November 12, 1996

Knowledge Navigation Center can help chart the way through technology

By Joanne Nesbit
News and Information Services

From exploring the WorldWide Web to creating multimedia tools for teaching and learning, the University Library's Knowledge Navigation Center (KNC) is available to help students, faculty and researchers chart their way through the constantly changing landscape of information resources and technology.

The grand opening of the KNC will be held Nov. 19 with an open house 11 a.m.-4 p.m. featuring a presentation by Interim President Homer Neal at 11:30 a.m. The campus community is invited to drop in for some hands-on experiments or to ask about imaging systems, geographic information systems, text analysis tools, interactive telecommunications or other services available at KNC. Demonstrations of equipment and systems will continue throughout the day.

Whether on a walk-in basis or by appointment, the Library's information professionals are available to help with real-time, visual, interactive and networked communications as well as sophisticated Internet tools, scholarly text support, non-Roman language support and the complete spectrum of U-M Library resources.

Located on the second floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library, the Center is where research projects take shape, where presentations are polished, where course materials are enhanced, where students, faculty, and researchers can work independently or collaboratively, and where information professionals are available to answer questions, make suggestions, teach new technologies and make useful referrals to subject specialists throughout the campus.

"While walk-ins are welcome," says Barbara Beaton of the KNC, "calling or e-mailing ahead will assure that the appropriate staff and equipment are available to users. We handle about 100 inquiries a month." Reservations can be made by calling 647-5836 or through e-mail at knc-info@umich.edu.

Once the contact with KNC is made, a project's success can be right around the corner. "For my forthcoming book, KNC staff helped me scan old type faces that will be used as chapter headings," says Richard W. Bailey, professor of English. "I have greatly profited from assistance in making a home page and discovering Internet resources that will be important to my teaching next term."

Among the projects handled by KNC staff since its July 24 opening is the development of a personal and course and research-related Web page for a faculty member. KNC staff also assisted a graduate student in architecture with Internet and imaging tools necessary to put a complete project description about adaptive housing, including site plans, on the Web. The Center has assisted the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Library's Special Collections to provide a Web presence for an international conference this month honoring Joseph Brodsky. Plans for that conference include a live audio and video of the conference on the Internet.

The Knowledge Navigation Center is open Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. There is no charge for services provided by the Center.