The tranquil ambiance of Sterne Library has given way to the sounds of hammers banging and saws revving, and it’s for a good cause says Jerry Stephens, Ph.D., director of the library.
The library is in Phase I of a year-long, three-phase renovation to enhance and support learning activities for students.
|Sterne Library is receiving a makeover during this academic year, and Library Director Jerry Stephens says the inconveniences will yield rewards.
“We’re changing the face of the library, and I think it’s for the better,” Stephens says. “These improvements are going to bring us up to date with the latest technology and enable us to provide an enhanced learning environment.”
Phase I changes to the South wing of the first floor will add two classrooms, individual computer workstations, a new reference print collection area and an area for reference librarians. Construction should be completed by the end of the calendar year.
Phase II includes a renovation of the circulation desk and the West entrance and lobby area plus the addition of several group study rooms. Phase II construction will begin in January 2010 and should be finished by early April.
Phase III, to be completed by summer’s end, will add new computer workstations for patrons, collaborative study space and the reference and inter-library loan service desk; the lobby area at the North entrance will be renovated.
The entire building will be painted and new carpet installed. Amenities include more power outlets, new furniture, collaborative work centers and a computer-equipped classroom for library instruction and video-conferencing.
“The whole concept is to make the library a learning commons,” Stephens says. “There will be spaces for collaborative learning, more computers and additional reader stations or seating that will support patrons computers and other personal electronic devices. There will be ample power supplies throughout the building.”
Another highlight is the new universitywide writing center, which will be supported by the Office of the Provost.
The first-floor center will enable librarians to work with faculty and students to improve writing skills across disciplines.
The library will remain open with its normal hours during construction. Some library services may be temporarily relocated, but Stephens says the library will offer all of its normal services.
Construction workers will be present Monday through Friday each week from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Students and faculty are encouraged to use the third floor if noise on first and second floors is disruptive.
“Library patrons are not in the spaces where the work is going on,” Stephens says. “That should help some with the noise levels. The building should be more quiet in the evenings — except maybe for the noise coming from the new Starbucks.”
Stephens says the inconveniences will yield rewards.
“With the renovation we will be able to offer resources in a learning-rich environment that will benefit our entire student body,” he says. “We’re very excited about the changes and where we’re going.”