Larger performing arts library planned for second floor of new Roe Green Center

Sara Petersen

Centralized location will allow for easier access to materials

VIEW a diagram of the new performing arts library.

The Hugh A. Glauser Music Library will soon undergo renovations to become a library for all of the performing arts at Kent State.

Thanks to a six-figure donation supplied by the Carlton and Victoria Thornbury family, the library renovations will take place in conjunction with the construction of the Roe Green Center, which will house the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music and the School of Theatre and Dance.

“That’s a really significant event that all of the performing arts will be in one building,” said Daniel Boomhower, head of the performing arts library. “If it weren’t for the Thornbury’s generous donation, (the library) wouldn’t be receiving these renovations.”

The two schools were formerly separated between two buildings, the Music and Speech Center and the Gym Annex.

Boomhower will be working with the Office of the University Architect in the next few weeks to finalize the plans and will be overseeing the project. The current library is about 3,900 square feet. Approximately 92,000 volumes of books, printed music, sound recordings and video recordings are currently stored there as well.

The new library will be less than 5,000 square feet and will include an increase in both study space and shelf space in the library, along with the creation of two computer classrooms and two multimedia group study rooms, Boomhower said.

One of the challenges of the old library, he said, was that although there was a very good collection, it wasn’t really visible.

“It was oddly configured … and felt like a bowling alley,” Boomhower said. “(The students) don’t realize we have 60-some thousand books on site. I wouldn’t doubt if people didn’t know we had books.”

Because of the renovations, the books will be inaccessible directly to students but can be requested through KentLINK, the library catalog for all eight university campuses.

These extra steps to receive study materials has made it difficult for students.

“Right now it’s really hard to get anything I want for music theory,” said Jake Fagan, freshman music education major. “I can’t get (the music because) it takes forever.”

Stephanie Susi and Krystal Friend, senior music education majors, used the library every day, and it’s now difficult for them to acquire the books needed to study.

“Before we could just run to the library and get it that day. Now it takes about five days to get materials,” Susi said.

“A lot of teachers are adjusting their syllabuses for their students because they’ve got these elaborate term papers they want us to write, but we don’t really have a good means to do our research.” Friend said. “It takes us days to get the book, and (we) only have it for a couple days.”

In October, the Thornbury family began a multiyear pledge toward the renovation of the library. The Kulas Foundation of Cleveland is also supplying funds to create the new listening and viewing facilities.

Victoria Thornbury, Kent State University alumna and current resident of Charlotte, N.C., graduated from the Library and Information Science program and is an avid theatregoer.

“I love all types, from dramas, to musicals, to opera,” Thornbury said. “So I feel a real commitment in having future performers trained at Kent State.”

Instructors and students are looking forward to the new library. Jerry Wong, assistant professor of piano, is excited about the idea of all the performing arts being centralized.

Susi, who worked in the old library, saw the new layout and said it looked ten times better than what it was.

“It’s definitely exciting to be able to have a more updated library that comes with the technology that can help students further their education,” Susi said.

Contact performing arts reporter Sara Petersen at [email protected].