News & Events

Renovations Planned for Main Library

A first-floor service point, a refurbished Reading Room, and a newly envisioned commons for digital scholarship will soon be features of the Main Library.

Perhaps the most visible change involves relocating the information desk (currently on the second floor) to a centrally designed space on the main level. Strategically positioned at the intersection of the north-south and east-west corridors (not far from the Bronze Tablet walls), this new “information point” will offer an easily identifiable service counter from which multiple staff can answer information and reference questions, and direct visitors. The area—expected to open this fall—will also provide a virtual reference desk, consultation space, accessible consultation/work area, and public computer terminals, printers, and scanners. Although somewhat contemporary in style, the design of the service point will remain sensitive to the historic detailing of its surroundings.

Meanwhile, the elegant Reading Room—with its stately parade of tall windows and iconic printers’ marks—will get a bit of a facelift. This summer, a low-profile, raised floor and new flooring materials will be put in place atop a submerged power distribution system that will provide electrical outlets at all tables. Other possible upgrades include up lighting at wall panels; perimeter wood shelving refurbishment; new, perforated roller shades for the printers’ mark windows; and table lamps.

Lastly, Room 220—just across the hall and around the bend from the Reading Room—will be transformed into a digital scholarship commons. A conceptualization study under way envisions the area as a vibrant, collaborative hub, whose flexible space would host exhibits and events, catalyze dialogue, and form lasting cohorts through shared interests. Seen as a working center where researchers gather, the commons could offer long-term research and project support, training workshops, and the establishment of communities of practice.

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