New Library Addition- Buckle Up
Photo Credits- Melanie Stout
New Library Addition – Buckle Up
By Shael P. McDonald
At 14.5 million, it is brand spanking new, sporting a sleek style, spacious design, low mileage, comfortable seating, and students who step into the new addition of the Boreham library may even notice that new car smell. The new library addition features an open design with a rotunda, lots of glass, clean lines, exposed tension cables, and high ceilings with drop down lighting.
The reviews are in. A freshman, Alexis McDonald, states, “It’s big, beautiful and clean. It’s not at all what I thought it would look like and completely different than the old one. I love it!” Senior, DeAnne Lee, says, “It’s open and light and lovely.” Junior, Amber Breazzeal, excitedly says, “I was completely surprised when I first entered our new campus library! With its open floor plan, and incredible lighting, our new library looks like a state-of-the-art research facility. The lay-out is more sensible, with reference materials on the first floor, and it’s obvious that great attention was paid to student comfort. It is the perfect complement to our ever-growing campus!”
Other students express concerns that the rotunda and high ceilings are a waste of space that will only create huge, unnecessary electric bills. However, according to an article by Dennis G. Van Arsdale posted on The Over Automated Librarian, “[The library] is being planned to aim at a LEED certification as well, so more room without a bigger utilities bill” (web).
Opened on schedule, but not without its hiccups, the new addition started the fall semester without the 24-hour access. “There [were] some security systems and design issues affecting the 24-hour access,” said Robert Frizzell, Director of Library Services. Apparently the issues were cleared up, since the 24-hour lab opened this past week, only 2 weeks into the semester. Also, students looking forward to the café concept considered in the original plans will be sorely disappointed. No java here. However, students can expect to find soft drinks and snack machines to be located in the 24-hour labs. According to Frizzell, “I’m not exactly sure why there won’t be a café, but I think it may have to do with issues noted at other libraries with cafes. Compared to the volume we would expect, you couldn’t break even once you purchased the materials and paid an attendant to be on duty.”
Coffee isn’t the only item the new addition is lacking. Currently, the library is functioning with only four temporary and four permanent computers in the 24-hour lab, but once the wiring issues are worked out, there will be a total of 96 computers available for student use. Frizzell explains, “Right now we are using the computer lab inside the Institute for Applied Innovation located on the second floor of the rotunda. This is only temporary until the 96 computers are up and running. The second floor of the rotunda belongs to the Institute, which is connected with the College of Business and will not be administered by the library.” Frizzell further states, “As with any project of this magnitude, there have been a few kinks, but we are getting some great feedback from the students. They find it attractive and seem to like the openness of the building.”
Additionally, students might see some empty shelves on the first floor of the library, but don’t mistake that for a lack of material. The library recently increased its electronic books by a whopping 75,000. Also, a change from the old library layout, students will notice the reference books are now located on the first floor and the fiction and non-fiction are located on the second floor.
Expect a few more bumps along the way…students need to remember that the old library is currently under renovation and there will be appropriate construction noise to go along with it. The renovation is scheduled to be complete in late February or early March. Students can expect to test drive it after Spring Break.