Jafet library has expanded and can now accommodate nearly 150 additional students, thanks to donations by the President’s Club and the family of the late Antoun Ghattas Karam, alumnus (BA '45, MA '47) and professor of Arabic literature at AUB.
Several Jafet Library study areas have been developed or refurbished to accommodate the addition of 140 seats, as a result of the AUB President's Club’s financial support. Also, the Antoun Ghattas Karam Electronic Classroom was relocated, expanded, and upgraded to become a state-of-the-art facility, thanks to a donation from the late professor’s son Shadi Karam and his wife Zeina.
“These additions and enhancements will go a long way towards improving students’ experiences at the Libraries and, by extension, at AUB, providing them with one of the backbones of a true liberal arts college experience: congenial, quiet, modern and pleasant study spaces,” said Lokman Meho, director of the University Libraries.
Built in the early 1950s when AUB had less than 2,000 students, Jafet has been in need of a long-awaited expansion to its study spaces to meet the demands of a growing student population, which currently stands at about 8,000.
To ease the limited space problem, the University Libraries’ management has resorted to various methods including: reorganizing the stacks where the collections of books and journals are shelved; digitizing many of the print journal subscriptions; replacing tens of thousands of bound volumes of old journals with electronic versions; moving from static to mobile shelving systems, wherever possible; and developing high-density library material storage in selective areas.
These measures have resulted in vacating over 300 square meters of space that was used to accommodate some of the students’ study space needs.
The President’s Club donation has helped the library develop quiet study rooms for senior and graduate students, as well as additional space for undergraduates, to be developed in the next few months.
Mona Khalaf, president of the AUB President’s Club, said that the club did not hesitate to support the expansion of Jafet Library to help ease “the endemic space problem [that] kept on getting aggravated as the number of AUB students kept on increasing as years passed.”
With the Karam family donation, the e-classroom was upgraded into a high-tech space that allows for an interactive and more congenial learning experience, and better outcomes.
The auditorium-shaped e-classroom now accommodates a layout in which all students sit face-to-face with the instructor. The classroom is equipped with networked computers, 23-inch full HD touchscreens with cameras.
The e-classroom also comes with an active board with a giant projection screen, and an automation system to control sound, lighting, curtains, and projection screen—all controllable from a touch panel on the podium or an iPad.
The podium is equipped with 19-inch HD touchscreen, Blu-ray reader, a recording system with two digital cameras, wireless and handheld microphones, as well as a high-tech classroom management application for computers.
The inauguration of the Karam e-classroom took place on December 22, 2014, in the presence of Zeina and Shadi Karam as well as several members of their family, AUB Provost Ahmad Dallal, and members of the AUB community.
Shadi Karam paid tribute to his late father (1919-1979), whose name has been immortalized in an e-classroom that has served more than 50,000 students over the years and will continue to serve many more.
“My father was known for his elegance, extreme courtesy… culture, wealth of knowledge, … and craftsmanship of words … and I am grateful to leave his name on … this classroom … which people can use and benefit from,” he said.
Earlier in December, the inauguration of the new study areas took place, in the presence of AUB President Peter Dorman, Provost Dallal, Dean of Students Talal Nizameddin, along with members of the President’s Club.
Source: American University of Beirut