Dean of the library, June Koelker said the finished library will feature substantially more group study rooms and study spaces.
Some of the new social spaces include an expanded Bistro Burnett, the Lizard Lounge, which features a social space for students to learn from one another via presentations and talks, an outdoor patio between the library and Rees-Jones Hall, and a screening room for film study, Koelker said.
She added that there will also be many technology-centered areas. These include a GIGA Lab featuring multimedia editing stations in soundproof rooms, a Fab Lab featuring 3D printing, an IT department, a visualization lab, and a technology room called the Sandbox.
The Sandbox is a section of the library featuring new technologies for students to examine, use, learn, and try out before deciding if they want to purchase it, Koelker said.
“Campus IT is going to get with some technology companies and vendors and bring samples of new technology here so people can touch, and play, and try out,” Koelker said. “It’s a way of seeing or using something in a practice way before buying it.”
The new library will have private spaces for graduate students to study and work on dissertations.
There will also be two bridges on the second floor that connect the library to Rees-Jones Hall, Koelker said.
Koelker said the expanded library will be very helpful for students to learn and study from new angles.
“It’s a dream come true,” Koelker said. “It’s wonderful because, as a librarian, students were using the study rooms and books, but the facilities couldn’t keep up with what we needed, and now they can.”
Students said they have been looking forward to the new library’s additional space.
“Right now, there are so many people, but just no space,” junior child development major, Emily Fuller said.
“It can get cramped in there at times, so I’m looking forward to the additional space,” junior biology major, Adam Hood said. “I’m also looking forward to the Sandbox and the 3D printing station.”
There will be a special campus-wide event for the library’s opening on Oct. 1.