Monday, July 8, 2013

A Thigpen Library Make-Over


The Learning Commons construction project was hard for many folks on campus and for no one more than the Library staff. The year-long project meant moving everything from offices and books to entire stacks, lifted by an elaborate hydraulic system made for moving library stacks. The good news is that the Library is back and looking better than ever. The first floor is opened up considerably, with plenty of room for computers and new styles of seating. There is one big hit with the students thus far.

“A couple of years ago we did a survey, and students made several comments about needing a quiet space to study,” said Thigpen Library director, Louise Kelly. “So, with the renovation we took the opportunity to create a Silent Study Room.  Here individual students will find comfortable chairs, similar to the ones in the Great Hall, and tables with chairs to study in quiet.  It’s not for group study; that is what the group study rooms are for.”

The change allowed the Library staff to rethink the use of space.

“We were also able to create a larger Library Instruction Center,” Kelly said.  “This is where classes come in, and we teach them about library and Internet resources that will help them with their research assignment. 
The previous center had room for 18 computers; now we have 30.  On the first floor we have a new circulation desk and research assistance desk where we have three computer stations (as opposed to one previously) to help students with research.  And, of course, we’re very pleased to have new carpet and a fresh coat of paint.”

Faculty and staff can come check out the new Library look. People will also probably be pleased to hear that the Rochelle Center is getting ready to come back into service soon.

The Learning Commons/Library project has been a long haul for everyone, especially the Plant Operations and Facilities folks and the contractors for making it all happen. It’s great to see the results.

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