This week, Bailey Library reopened its first floor, giving students an introduction to the new research services center.
Once it is entirely finished in September, the first floor will feature serpentine seating areas, a new media center, eight new quick print stations, two enclosed research rooms, 70 new computer workstations,and four printers. The laptop rental area has also been relocated to the floor. These additions will contribute to all of the amenities already present in the library and technology learning center. The carpeting has been redone and the room’s bookshelves, periodicals and service desk have all been spatially reorganized.
There will also be new accommodations made with the Americans for Disabilities Act in mind, including a more easily accessible quick print station and additional computer stations that will be wheel chair accessible.
Lynn Hoffman, assistant professor of library and head of research services, described the new look as “contemporary but somewhat retro.”
“It makes a really nice first impression for parents and perspective students…It’s much more appealing,” Hoffman explained, “and it more adequately describes what we do down there; we assist students in research.”
The new space is aimed to improve access to laptops, centralize printing, and raise awareness of library resources. “The goal is really to improve opportunities for successful learning,” Hoffman stated.
“When someone walks in they can be aware of the overall space of the facility they’re in,” Hoffman said looking into the 13,000 square foot room. “We lowered all the bookcases to open up the space.” he explained.
Hoffman also pointed out the café style tables in the entrance to the space and conveniently located newspapers nearby.
“It’s just so very different from what we had before.” Hoffman said with excitement.
Students may have noticed the facility is still a work in progress. There are coming soon signs throughout the space and some computers are not yet set up. “Things aren’t quite completed yet. There’s a little more electrical work to be finished.” Hoffman explained, adding, “We’re looking for the finishing touches to be wrapped up in the coming weeks.” The electrical use is limiting the number of computers that can be running for the time being.
Kelly Fladden, 21, and a senior education major says she’s probably at the library every day. Not a stranger to the library, Fladden felt the new technology would help solve some issues previously experienced by students in the library.
“It seems to be very helpful because everyone was always looking for new computers;” she explained. “it looks like there’s going to be a lot more printing which is good because there was always a line before class.”
“It’s definitely a lot more spaced out,” she pointed out, “and it’s definitely more welcoming. It looks more like a college friendly environment.”
The renovations to the library were partially based on feedback from students last year from a LibQual survey which a few thousand students participated in. A dedication is planned for the end of September once the work is completed.