Feb. 1975: Resources to Help Students Learn #ThrowbackThursday

Ten similarly equipped study carrels are housed in the Learning Resource Center. Here, Bruce Bostrom focuses intently on a slide projected from the carousel device overhead. To his left is a videocassette player and monitor.

"Traditional education, which places responsibility for learning on the student, is being challenged by the concept that it is the instructor who is primarily responsible for causing the student to learn."

Photographic slides are among a variety of audiovisual resources available to Mayo Medical School students in the Learning Resource Center. Here, librarian Judy Lorrig assists Mike Lucca.

That statement came from Judy Lorrig, who was in charge of Mayo Medical School's Learning Resource Center (LRC) in 1975. The LRC occupied more than half the space on the main floor of the Mayo Medical School Student Center. Traditionally, the Learning Re­source Center would be called a library. Ms. Lorrig was a librarian, but her materials went far beyond and were quite different from the books and card catalogue of her predecessor. The LRC did have books, but it also had videotape cassettes, slide carousels, movies, anatomical models, medical instruments, charts, microscope slides, and a roomful of hardware that would put the local hi-fi shop to shame.

When Mayo Clinic was formulating the physical needs for the medical school to which the institution had committed itself, a decision was made to include the latest in learning technology. Thus, the LRC came into being. The main components of the LRC were 10 study carrels located around the periphery of the main room. A complete carrel, which accommodated two students at one time, included a videocassette player and 12-inch television monitor, a carousel projec­tor, and an eight-millimeter technicolor film projector. The cost for one totally equipped carrel was $2,400.

Traditional library stacks in this room of the LRC did not store books, but instead smooth black vinyl containers which held videotape cassettes, cardboard boxes which held carousel slide trays, and smaller boxes containing movie reels.

Alyssa Frank (@alyssafrank)

Alyssa Frank

Alyssa Frank is a Marketing Segment Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She leads marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing. Alyssa has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2015.