The new Performing Arts Library, two years in the making, has opened and is ready for use by students.
Joe Clark, head of the Performing Arts Library, said the staff is excited the library located in the Music and Speech Building is officially accessible.
Clark said before the renovations, the library was the Music Library, containing material for music majors only. With new shelving, the Performing Arts Library will now be able to store music, theater and dance material.
Some of what the new Performing Arts Library offers:
• A PC lab and a Mac lab — the Mac lab contains specialized software for music.
• Two audiovisual stations with scanners and one of which with a turntable.
• Two group viewing rooms with listening equipment and the capability to practice PowerPoint presentations — one viewing room also contains a turntable.
The Performing Arts Library’s open house is Friday from 3-5p.m. in the lower level of Music and Speech Building. There will be food, music, dance and more for the celebration of the new facility.
Source: Performing Arts Library open house flier
Max Michael, a sophomore music education major, said the new library is a complete turn-around from the old one.
“(The new library) is really nice compared to the old one,” Michael said. “The old library kind of felt like a supply closet for all of the books. Compared to the way it used to be, this is a quantum leap forward for the library.”
Renovations began in May 2008 and continued until August 2010, Amanda Evans, the senior library associate, said.
Evans said there is still work that needs to be done.
“We are still expecting new furniture and a restaurant-style booth,” Evans said.
As with the main library on campus, students and Kent residents alike are able to use material from the Performing Arts Library.
“Students have been loving the new library,” Clark said. “We are getting people that are not music majors. It is a real asset to our students and community as well.”
Barbara Schloman, associate dean of the university libraries, said the renovations were part of the entire Roe Green Center renovations to the Music and Speech Building.
The Roe Green renovations are an estimated $12 million overhaul to the Music and Speech Building, allowing theater and dance majors to be combined in one building.
The Roe Green Foundation gave a $6.5 million gift toward the renovations.
Schloman said two major donations from the Kulas Foundation and the Thornbury family allowed the library to expand further than initial plans.
“The donations allowed us to finish off additional space that was unfunded without, allowing the main space off of the collections and more seating,” Schloman said.
The Kulas Foundation is focused in Cleveland and gives grants to music-focused facilities. Meanwhile, Carlton and Victoria Thornbury are Kent State alumni committed to performing arts.
Clark said the Performing Arts Library is the third-busiest, including all the regional campus libraries.
“I really like the musical scores…they pretty much have whatever you need,” Mackenzie Duan, a freshman musical theater major, said. “All of the freshmen (musical theater majors) come here a lot just to look at music scores and to study music more.”
Schloman said the new library has a different goal than the previous one.
“This has an expanded destination,” Schloman said. “It will bring students of all these majors together.”
Contact Shauna Carter at [email protected]