CSU plans library redesign

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Sep 212006
 
Authors: Stephanie Gerlach

Current freshmen on the CSU five-year plan may see a time when they can study in Morgan Library at any time of the day.

Officials have planned an ambitious redesign of the campus library, and one of the goals is to create a 24-hour study area within four to five years, said George Jaramillo, assistant dean of the library.

“It’s a very positive move,” Jaramillo said. “Teaching and learning styles are changing so libraries need to change too.”

The campus library hasn’t seen a renovation this large since the flood that ravaged the campus in 1997.

But even students this year will feel and see the effects of the redesign plan, as work will be ongoing.

University Libraries has unveiled its plans to update Morgan Library to meet the standards of a 21st century university. The group has planned this redesign for the past two years.

The renovations will occur in three separate stages. The first phase will consist of rearranging spaces within the library, including buying new chairs, new tables and increasing the amount of seating available.

Jaramillo estimated the furniture alone during this phase will cost about $309,000. As for the rest of the project, Jaramillo said he wasn’t sure about the cost.

The time it takes to complete this project will depend on the funding.

The second phase will include building renovations such as relocating certain materials and maximizing study space. A new combined information/reference desk will be created to provide “one-stop” service to students.

The final phase involves external changes, such as creating an enclosed atrium with three floors of balconies over the courtyard.

Lighting, restroom and noise improvements will also be completed, along with the creation of more interactive meeting areas.

“I would definitely use the 24-hour study area because now, the library hours aren’t always convenient for people who need to get late-night studying done,” said Tyler Mork, a junior mechanical engineering major.

Some students said the redesign might draw more students to the library.

“I think it’s an excellent way to update the campus and possibly attract new people to the library,” said Cale Gasner, a sophomore economics major.

University Libraries is optimistic that its plan will allow for a better working, learning and studying environment for individual students and small groups.

After the flood, most of the changes that occurred consisted of increased and upgraded database volumes and electronic resources. The university also built a wall on the west side of the library to prevent future flood damage.

Jaramillo said the planned improvements reflect a new age of state-of-the-art technology and digitized information, in addition to added space to accommodate the increasing number of CSU students.

The library also hopes to improve its collections and services to make it more user-friendly for students and staff.

“When students walk in to the library, we want them to have access to everything they need,” Jaramillo said.

Staff writer Stephanie Gerlach can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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