Library lobby prepares for facelift

Ryan Stainbrook

Renovations to the first floor should be completed by the start of Fall 2010 semester.


Renovations to be completed

Risman Plaza won’t be the only thing changing in Fall 2010. After nearly 40 years of the same look, the first floor of the University Library will receive some renovations to make it look more appealing.

“This is the one area that everyone sees who enters the building that has never undergone any facelift in 40 years,” said Barbara Schloman, associate dean of Libraries and Media Services. “It was very overdue.”

The renovations are scheduled to take place right after the spring semester ends and should be completed by the time the Fall 2010 semester begins.

“We try to do a majority of the work while students are gone,” university architect Michael Bruder said. “As of now, we are right on schedule.”

The main purpose of the renovations is to make the library more welcoming, and with the help the university’s architect department, that is what is planned to happen.

“The architect’s office is very interested in creating more of a defined entry to the building, something that is more up to date,” Schloman said. “This, along with a facelift, would provide a more welcoming entry.”

Schloman and Bruder both hope the renovations will brighten the library.

“The big changes are on the first floor,” Bruder said. “The main focus is to update the lobby.”

Bruder also mentioned the library is one of the busiest places on campus, and he hopes the renovations will help welcome visitors.

“There are some infrastructure things that we will update,” Bruder said. “But the big message is to brighten it (the lobby) up.”

Schloman hopes the renovations will not only make the library look more appealing, but help with efficiency as well.

“The renovation provides a wonderful opportunity to reorganize both the front circulation area as well as the ‘backroom’ functions,” Schloman said. “Since the building opened in 1970, much has changed: technology, collection formats, even services. By relooking the space we use to do library functions as we know them today, it is possible to align space with function.”

John Weingart, sophomore physical education major, thinks the new updated look of the library will be a good thing.

“I think it’s good that they’re updating it,” Weingart said. “I come in here from time to time, and it always looks so dark.”

Weingart also said the overall appearance of the library is important to the attitude he has when he comes in.

“When I come in here, it’s usually to study or do a project,” Weingart said. “If the entrance was brighter, maybe it would motivate me and make doing my work easier.”

Overall, the renovations need to be done, Schloman said, and the rest of the staff are excited about them.

“The overall facelift with improved lighting will make a huge difference to everyone who comes into the building,” Schloman said. “But I am most pleased that the staff in Circulation and Reserves will now have very pleasant and functional work areas.

They have worked in such dated and makeshift circumstances for so long. This will be a wonderful change for them.”

Contact  library reporter Ryan Stainbrook at  [email protected]