Library transfer in summer 09

CLEAN SWEEP

Jessica Taylor

Despite rumors that the Library will move to the Village this coming summer, a transition will likely happen a year from now.

Currently home to the former occupants of the BGS building, it is very unlikely that all Village portables will be vacated in enough time to move the Library there.

“Because the timeline is what it is for the move back to the BGS building, it is logistically smoother to defer the Library move to the Village in summer ’09,” said Kevin O’Connor, Dean of Liberal Arts and Learning Resources. “It will be a very different Village than it is today.”

Currently home to one division and an entire learning environment, the transfer of the Library will put a strain on material availability.

“We are concerned. We want students to make use of the services,” O’Connor said. “But the majority of classes will then be on upper campus so we had to think ‘what can we do.’ It is a challenge, but we are undertaking a major marketing and awareness campaign.”

Only three of the Village buildings will be utilized for library services. The other spaces may still be available for classroom courses.

One building will be dedicated to the reference center and collection, and will include computers for research, including the periodical and audio/visual collection. Librarians will be on hand to check out materials.

Another building will host the division offices, Friends of the Library processing center and other administrative processes.

The third building will be where most of the collection is relocated to. Support staff to help with the check out process will also be housed in this third building.

The other major task the division is undertaking is a three-part process involving the packaging, storing and transporting of the extensive collection of books.

“Currently we are in the process of reviewing our collection to determine what we really need,” said Ana Maria Cobos, librarian. “We will be hiring a company to help us store or move the books we probably won’t be taking. We also won’t be making every one of the books in the collection we are keeping available, some of those will be stored too.”

The librarians and support staff must go through the collection to remove the outdated materials, and strengthen the college’s electronic collection with books available through the library’s website, according to Cobos.

“We must keep the collection fresh and current to reflect current information,” O’Connor said. “Many disciplines regard information that is ever changing. So a library is really always evolving.”

O’Connor said he hopes that all academic support services unify under one roof.

The reading lab, writing lab, LAP, and language labs will all be centralized on the second floor of the future library.

Classrooms will be located on the first floor, and the actual library collection will be on the third floor.

“Library services are really for all students, faculty and even the community at large,” O’Connor said. “And this building is a lot more than just a library.

“In a very wonderous way it is about instruction. With the 16 new classrooms and interactive academic support center, we will have a component for everyone.”

Once the language lab is relocated to the library, the portables in the center of the quad known as CC, will be removed.

This will open up the quad and have more space to allow students to socialize.

While the library is temporarily housed in the Village, the current James B. Utt Memorial Library will be completely gutted and remodeled.

The exterior will have new landscaping, walkways with different entrances, and LED lighting.

Inside, a growth of nearly 15,000 square feet will be noticeable, as well as new utilities such as heating and air conditioning. The stairs that currently run through the library will no longer run through to the first floor. They will connect the second and third floors only.

The new look and atmosphere of the library will also include an exhibition space.

“Right now we have very minimal space for exhibits in the current library,” O’Connor said. “We can’t compete for traveling exhibits because we can’t secure exhibit space. The new library will have a section on the third floor.”

With the new features, look and centralization of academic resources, the library also may or may not keep its current name.

“The whole space will be much larger, with more efficient spacing, even though we won’t be moving any of the perimeter walls,” O’Connor said. “This will become a landmark building. Right now it’s kind of camouflaged.

“It’s a little gray and drab, but it is still a great college library. And it will be an even greater one.”

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