Library improvements

University library begins to add more study space

The Peterson Memorial Library has begun work to install new quiet study areas for students on the main level. Using space previously occupied by stacks, the new study area will include carols, counters, and seating for students to quietly study while enjoying the large windows overlooking Centennial Green.

The renovations have been made possible by generous donations from the class of 2014, the class of 2016, the class of 1966 in commemoration of their 50th anniversary, and other donors. A remodel of the main level study space has been part of the library refresh plan since the project began in 2012, but this portion of the project was postponed until after the major renovations had taken place.

The main level stacks will see a complete refresh. The lighting and electrical will be reworked to suit the needs of the new space. Flooring will be replaced, the walls repainted, and blinds added to surrounding windows. The exact layout of the area is still being worked out, but will feature counters and carols similar to study areas on the lower level, but with a quieter and more intimate feel. The large windows, which were previously closely covered with book stacks, will now give studying students wide views of Centennial Green and the surrounding area.

The new study space will occupy an area formerly occupied by books. Due to the transition to digital journals, older, disused print journals were disposed of, allowing for the transition of books to lower levels. Other books were also moved to offsite storage. This has allowed for much of the space to be opened up. The old metal shelving is being cleared but some of it will see new use in the special collections area. Metal shelves are much better for preservation than the wooden ones they are replacing.

The main level isn’t the only place in the library due to receive a refresh. New wood and glass panels will replace the prominent aquamarine mosaic in the lobby. The university’s core themes will be featured on the new piece in an artistic and modern fashion that will greet students as they enter the library. The current mosaic’s large rendition of the university seal will not be forgotten as it will be carefully removed and saved for use in future projects.

Carolyn Gaskell, director for university libraries, is excited about the project. “It's nice to see things happening in the library!”

Posted August 5, 2016

Student worker David Dilger works on shifting books for the new project
Old shelving is currently being removed, opening up the floor to new uses
Large windows, previously covered by stacks, will now provide a wonderful atmosphere for studying students
The large mosaic in the lobby will be replaced with a new and modern wood and glass piece