If you’ve stopped by the library since the spring semester ended, you may have noticed some changes. This summer’s renovation will streamline all your library visits and make it easier for you to get the services and items you need. Where once you might have returned books at the Circulation Desk, asked a question at the Reference Desk, and then gone to the Media Desk to pick up a film, starting this week you can do all those things—and more—at the new Service Desk. Located immediately in front of you as you enter the library, the Service Desk is your one-stop-shop for returns, check-outs, Q&A, request pick-ups, reserve items, museum passes, laptops, and iPads. The desk is staffed by library staff and student workers, all of them ready to assist you.
Renovation began on April 29, as soon as exams ended. The entire front part of the library was off limits while the furniture was removed and carpet was ripped up. Facilities staff worked quickly to dismantle the old desks and tables and reassemble them in their new locations as well as install new carpet and move electrical and data points. From April 29 to May 11, the only way to enter the library was through the emergency exit door in the stairwell, and that was only so people could return books or pay fines. Many people were confused and needed help finding other locations to print files and study. It was a reminder to staff of how many people use the library as their base of operations on campus.
Phase 2, May 11–23, saw the front doors reopened but with a substantial area around the new desk roped off with caution tape and plastic sheeting. All collections were still accessible, but you had to go around the long way to access them. A temporary desk was set up near the door so regular library business could resume. Meanwhile, the Service Desk and computer desks were secured and polished. The new countertops were installed on May 20 and staff were finally able to take up position behind the new desk on May 24.
Although it may seem like a big change, and the library certainly looks different, the new setup should make things easier. Students in particular often had a hard time determining where to ask a question or find a resource they needed. On a typical day when entering the library, you could see as many as five or six employees behind the various desks; it was confusing and most patrons needed to go to multiple locations in order to conduct all their business. Now when you come to the library, you will always go to the same place for help. You may interact with more than one person, but without having to zigzag all over the place.
Please note that a second unrelated construction project associated with the new dining hall in the basement of Walker will begin in June. Due to this project, the 3rd–floor study rooms and half of the CoLab will be unavailable this summer.
Cate Hirschbiel (Iwasaki Library)