From the outside, room 107 looks just like any other classroom door in Illinois State University's Stevenson Hall; but in reality, it is something very special: the entrance to LILT. As you enter, you'll notice a full-size replica of the stargate hanging on the wall. I made that. It was my project for an entire summer. LILT is that cool. The next thing you'll notice is an unopened case of Coca-Cola's lilt soda resting on the reception desk*. The staff members greet you, and if she's not otherwise disposed, the manager will at least shake your hand and at most give you a hug. LILT is a friendly place, and I've never been in another computer lab like it.
In ISU parlance, LILT stands for Laboratory for Integrated Learning and Technology. The title is actually slightly misleading; LILT is just a computer lab, but everything at ISU (and most other universities I'm familiar with) has an acronym. LILT is exclusively for faculty members of CAS (College of Arts & Sciences) and COB (College of Business). They can come in to check email, compose documents, or whatever other random task they want, but most come in for help on a course website. This is where LILT shines. It runs a FrontPage server for faculty use, and it supports the faculty before anything else. Need help formatting a page, resizing an image, scanning a picture, or anything else? A LILT staff member is there and ready to help you.
LILT also designs, launches, and troubleshoots websites for departments within CAS and COB. When the site is done, it is handed over to the content director of the department, who is trained on how to maintain a website. The content director is then invited back to LILT for help whenever it may be needed.
On a more personal note, LILT supplied me with some of the best work experience I have ever had. I worked there as a web developer/faculty trainer for 3 years during my undergraduate study, and I loved it. Staff members were allowed to work on projects of their choosing so long as all other project deadlines were met. Because of this, I was able to learn ASP, VBScript and CSS without needing to take a course in any of them. I also learned how to work unsupervised. It's amazing how much more productive one can be without a manager looking over his or her shoulder.
Be warned, though; LILT is highly addictive. I am still friends with my manager there, and if the positions weren't student only, I would still be working there today.
Check LILT out on the web at http://lilt.ilstu.edu
* I know if there's ever a "Justin" soda, I'm buying a whole lot.