Thursday, March 21, 2013

#JSC2013: Matthew Cook - Adapting walking labyrinths to academic libraries


The extended mind theory - the tools that you use become part of your mind

The computer is not perfect tool for extending the mind outward. It doesn't relate to the physical form.  It doesn't have a spatial component.  The computer also is a tool used for distraction.

Young scholars use physical space for their work, e.g., learning commons.

Starting in the 1990s, secular environments in the West began installing walking labyrinths.  People used them to calm down.

There have been labyrinth specific studies.  There have even been studies of the effect of labyrinths on incarcerated individuals.

Walking meditation improves the person physically, mentally, and emotionally.

A walking labyrinth in a academic environment provides a short escape.  Allows people to have a short physical activity, calm down and refocus.

Installing a physical labyrinth can be cost prohibitive.

SPARC: spatial meditation tool - his creation!
Waiting for approval to install one at Oklahoma Univeristy.  It is a projected labyrinth, where people can select which historic labyrinth that they want to walk.  Can include information on the history of the labyrinth.

The SPARC would be 15' square and cost approx. $10-$15K installed.

OU has used other stress reliever during finals week, including therapy dogs, prayer  room, etc.  

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