The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Library may undergo remodel

By Max Loos

Students returning in the fall should not be surprised if they walk into the library for the first time and find it strangely unfamiliar-a reorganization of the library’s lower level and first floor has been tentatively planned for this summer.The proposed changes, Library Director Terri Fishel said, would move the computers from the lower-level library lab to the first floor, adding extra classroom and study spaces to the bottom floor.

“This is part of making sure we’re enhancing the student experience,” Fishel said. She also said the library has been looking to reorganize and improve its spaces for several years now.

Putting extra computers on the first floor, Fishel said, would make things easier for students by creating what she called a “learning commons”-a single area that would include the library’s electronic reference tools and the tech support students require.

While there is no room for extra computers on the first floor of the library now, extra space would be made by reducing the printed journal and reference collections currently inhabiting the first floor.

But Fishel was quick to point out that Macalester’s journal and reference collections would not be shrinking-rather, the resources would be moving online, where most students are using them already.

The former lower level computer lab would then be converted into a new classroom space. This would allow all of the first-year courses to finish their introductions to the library and its resources in the first month of school. The classroom would also then be available for research instruction for other classes.

Fishel said that she hopes to add student meeting spaces to the lower level as well. These spaces, unlike the study rooms on the third and fourth floors, could include projectors for presentation practice or video showings.

The proposed changes would also be done primarily with existing furniture and equipment, keeping the price tag of the potential project fairly low.

Still, Fishel stressed that because budget money is tight, nothing is set in stone.

“Nothing is final until the trustees approve the budget in May,” she said. But if the proposed reorganization does not happen over the summer, it will just be pushed to J-Term.

“It will get done this year,” Fishel said.

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