Third floor of library renovated for SLIS


The third floor of the library has been renovated to include the School of Library Information Science.

Christopher Woods

The renovated School of Library and Information Science on the third floor of the university library recently reopened after more than a year of construction.

“I was in an office that was literally a closet,” said assistant professor Kiersten Latham. “It’s really nice to have more space now; it’s made a big difference.”

The third floor used to be the home of audiovisual services, where students could go to borrow video and audio equipment. This equipment is now kept at the circulation desk and in on-site storage.

The renovations gave the school office spaces, a reception area, a display area to showcase the work of the museum studies department within the school and assignable research areas.

“We had to have a place for researchers, one of the areas we lacked since we have researchers on our faculty,” said associate professor Greg Byerly. “We have some faculty doing various things with research, so one of the things we built here is a suite of four equal-sized rooms that are reasonably empty, and we call them assignable research areas.”

Before the renovations, space was very limited, so some faculty members had to resort to using their personal space in order to complete their research.

“We had a faculty member who was doing this really neat thing with his students on touchscreen technology, but they were doing it in his garage because we had no space for this sort of thing,” Byerly said. “It’s been great for our faculty.”

Byerly said the rooms can be rented to faculty for up to a year.

Students said they are also benefiting from the school’s renovations.

“When I came in for my interview last spring, some of the third floor was shut down, and the office half of it was done and was really nice,” said Alyssa Lodi, a freshman pre-nursing major and library receptionist. “When I actually started working in the office in the fall semester it was very organized and nice. We were still moving furniture, but it was still really nice. I love what it looks like now.”

Another highlight of the renovation is the MuseLab, an area equipped with museum tools and space for exhibits.

“This has been a really big feature with about 120 students registered in the museum studies program,” Latham said. “We’re looking to collaborate with other departments on campus and make it known that we’re here, even though we are a mostly online program.”

Byerly said ideas for the renovations were first proposed in May 2010 with construction starting in December 2012 and finishing in June 2013.

He said the renovations were exactly what the faculty asked for and said they were thankful that their ideas were contributed to the renovation.

“The library, very graciously, agreed to give the school the space because the purpose for which it had been previously used was not needed anymore,” Byerly said. “We couldn’t have done this without the cooperation of the university library.”

Contact Christopher Woods at [email protected].