The Library of the Month for April is MERIT Library, the library for the school of education! “MERIT” stands for Media, Education Resources, and Information Technology. The library provides services and resources to the faculty, staff, and students of the School of Education, UW-Madison, the Wisconsin education community, and beyond.
MERIT is the result of a collaboration between three well-established units within the School of Education—the Center on Instructional materials and Computing (CIMC), the Instructional Media Development Center (IMDC), and the School of Education’s Information Technology office (SoEIT). In 2005, Jo Ann Carr assumed the dual role as director of both the CIMC and the IMDC. In an effort to streamline services to faculty, staff, and students, CIMC and IMDC merged with SoEIT to create MERIT in 2008, under Jo Ann Carr’s direction.
MERIT’s mission is to provide “creative and personalized solutions that make your work possible.” MERIT’s librarians train future educators to use and incorporate the latest technology, like iPads and SMART boards, into their classrooms. Access to education databases and subject/resource guides are among the multitude of resources available through MERIT. The library also offers a variety of technology workshops from “Using Google for Academic Research” to “Designing and Printing Posters with PowerPoint.”
The library collection supports the School of Education’s Teacher Certification Programs and includes scholarly and PreK-12 print, media, and electronic information sources. MERIT is composed of the following collections:
- MERIT Library Professional Collection
- PreK-12 Collection
- MERIT Library Journals Collection
- MERIT Library Reference Collection
- Testing Resources, which includes hundreds of standardized education and psychological tests related to PreK-12 education.
With over 33 spaces, including classrooms, teaching and open labs, study spaces, and meeting rooms, MERIT is a great spot for studying or working on group projects. Its work spaces are nearly as important as the collection itself, because they create a social and interactive learning area. Plus, the 60 staff members are always friendly and eager to help. Everyone at MERIT says their favorite part of working there is the people. What’s not to love?
The shelves are full of fun picture books, but MERIT carries more than just books–you’ll find games (including bean bag toss!), puppets, xylophones (yes, you read that correctly!), and a laminator. There is even a special area for toys you’d find in a kindergarten or pre-K classroom. As you can imagine, being a center for Media, Education Resources, and Information Technology, MERIT also has all sorts of techie toys to play with and check out. The circulating equipment includes iPads, projectors, and digital voice recorders.
As if these features aren’t reason enough, if you visit MERIT Library, you might even stumble upon one of the 35 M&Ms dispensers or one of the 12 Mr. Potato Head dolls hidden amongst the stacks.