An inconvenience many students have run into lately is the closing of the third floor, also known as the “quiet floor,” of Bailey Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:45 AM to noon.
Built in 1973, Bailey Library is composed of three levels and a basement. As time has played its toll, the library has been under reconstruction for quite some time and is currently focusing on the third floor.
Jessica Jordan is the Education Assessment Librarian at Bailey Library. She became involved with the renovations because the library is looking to make the second floor the Instructional Material Center (IMC), which includes all the education based resources.
“We renovated the first floor during the last academic year,” Jordan said. “Once we completed that project, we looked through the rest of the building and realized how archaic it truly was.”
The library has been working with Mary Ann King, Director for Academic Resources, to renovate the third floor. Renovations to the third floor were not only sparked from previous renovations, but also from the addition of the math emporium, Jordan said. The math emporium was implemented by the Provost at the back of the second floor and is used for different beginner math courses such as basic algebra.
“With the addition of the math emporium taking up a lot of room, we were forced to reevaluate the space and materials we had left,” Jordan said. “That’s the step we are at right now.”
The librarians have been working at weeding out very dated books and incorrect information to make more room on the third floor. The shelving was pushing 40 years old and was not very stable anymore. They did not want to rid the library of the bound journals, so the ones they do not have electronic access to are being kept and moved to the basement onto compact shelving. Students won’t be able to browse the journals but will still have access by simply submitting a request form. They still want students to have the information but are trying to make space, Jordan said.
“As librarians, we need to keep an eye on the collection and that’s something we admit as faculty we weren’t doing,” Jordan said.
In terms of listening to students, the library knows from surveys and their suggestion box of the changes students would like to see happen to the library. Students expressed they want more group study space, comfortable furniture, quiet space, and just more space in general, Jordan said. Additional computers and seating, new carpets, a new reading room, and a more relaxed atmosphere are changes expected to come.
“The third floor will still be quiet,” Jordan said. “We are getting rid of the big tables and moving toward individualized study space to encourage quiet on the quiet floor.”
Another goal of Bailey Library is to make it the transformational services building, Jordan said. The Writing Center has recently been moved from Spotts into the library. Additionally, it contains career development, academic support services, the tutoring center, and more.
A determined finished date has not been set for the third floor. However, the library is working hard to have the back half of the third floor, also called the “Swope end,” emptied with new shelving in by the start of the spring semester.
“What we are trying to do is a great concept,” Jordan said. “We’re not getting a bigger building and we understand that, so we are trying to maximize the space we have.”