Library considers reorganization of materials, student spaces

By Tressa Versteeg

The DeWitt Wallace Library is celebrating its 25th birthday this year and the library staff feels that some changes are in order.”I think we are looking forward to the 25th anniversary and at 25 years old or 25 years young, where do we want to be?” Associate Library Director Dave Collins asked.

The library staff is now considering consolidating the reference section; the journal collection and ground floor periodicals could be consolidated or moved to a new location completely. Both possibilities will open up the south end of the library on the ground level for new additions. However, a definite plan for how to best utilize the space is still in the brainstorming stages. According to Collins, it all depends on what kind of study spaces students want.

The idea of reshuffling materials began circulating last year, when a group of 10-12 library staff, including Collins, created the Library Space Planning Committee. It decided to explore making changes in order to better accommodate students’ studies.

“The changes will really allow us to take advantage of what I see as a trend in what’s happening in learning and teaching – what’s called more student-centered learning, where students can create learning opportunities for themselves,” Collins said. “We want the library to support that endeavor.”

Currently, the committee is consulting a group of library student workers on what students may want and are planning on involving more students, faculty and staff in future discussion and focus groups.

“I think it would be nice if there was a space with just a few bookshelves with popular books, with couches and cozy chairs and just a less sterile, more cozy space,” Nadia Stennes-Spidal ’11 said. “I like the way the library is, but it would be cool if there were just a reading room with couches that was a little more homey.”

Discussions to determine what changes will be made will continue during the summer. According to Collins, a concrete plan should be ready next spring.