Library gets makeover during summer

By Daniel Kerwin

For anyone who’s yet to visit the library so far in the young semester, prepare to be taken aback when you stop by to print off that article that you were never going to read anyway as you rush to your next class. There are a number of large and small-scale changes that you’ll either recognize as increasing the efficiency of your visit or that might just throw off your vibe.The most notable changes are on the first floor, where a large number of shelves were removed and replaced with computer stations. The print reference section was cut down to about a third of its former size and the supply of print periodicals was depleted to make it possible to remove the shelves. No periodical subscriptions were cancelled, and the print copies are all available online, as is the majority of the reference collection.

The lower-level computer lab was converted into a classroom space. The computers from the old lab were moved to the main floor and replaced with new computers. Within the past week the library opened the lower-level instruction room and ordered an additional four computers for student use.

“We had an unprecedented overflow crowd the first week, so we wanted to create more spaces so students wouldn’t have to wait in line for computer access,” Library Director Terri Fishel said.

A tech support desk was added on the main level as well as a multimedia preparation room on the lower level and a presentation practice room on the third level. The latter two rooms are not currently in use but will be operational imminently.

Smaller changes have also affected the overall look and feel of the library. Reducing the clutter on the main floor has led to increased visibility and a more intimate atmosphere, the remodeling of the reading room on the north side of the main floor allows for a dedicated reading space in contrast to the expanded computer area, giant question marks have been put up over information desks, and the library has even started a bike rental program.

Fishel said that the 20-year-old library is too often referred to as the “new” library and that the renovations are the first phase of a plan to renovate and update the spaces inside the library.

“We’re not the new library anymore,” Fishel said. “I’m happy with the results, I’m hoping the students will be happy with the results too, I think it came out well.