Student Article: New Library on the Horizon

Thanks to Millersville student Erin Donovan for allowing us to cross-post her article about the library renovation on our blog! Erin’s article was originally published on the engl315journal on November 5th, 2012. Thanks for the great coverage!

New Library on the Horizon

By Erin Donovan

The Millersville University Library doesn’t look drastically different than it did a year and a half ago, but its renovation and construction is on schedule, and there will be a lot to look forward to once it is complete.

According to Outreach Librarian Erin Dorney, the new library will “look more modern, have more natural light, and be a better place for students.” However, that time has not arrived quite yet, and there are some challenges to overcome in the meantime.

When reconstruction began in the summer of 2011, many students and faculty were concerned about having their library out of commission for two years. This is where Dorney came in. She is responsible for communicating information regarding the library and its status throughout this process, and allaying their fears.

Many students, Dorney explained, were unaware of the dangers the old library presented, resulting in the necessary renovations. There was no sprinkler system in the old building, and with many paper books, that posed a large hazard. The building had elevators, but they did not stop at every floor, and so were not compliant with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) regulations. And finally, because the building was never previously renovated, the heating and wiring systems were originals and needed to be replaced.

Going into this major overhaul, Dorney explained that faculty members were unsure of what attributes of the library students would miss most. Would it be the books? The study space? The Ganser Grind?

The answer was, in fact, the study space. Students miss having a place where they can go to focus on their studies, whether solo or in a group. Dorney explains that the library faculty members are working on projects to provide students what they need.

Currently, the temporary library is located in Gerhart Hall. According to the Millersville University Library blog, students are still able to “borrow books, access databases of scholarly journal articles, and engage with library faculty and staff to ensure research success.”

To help solve the problem of study space, several classrooms in the academic buildings around campus have been converted into study spaces. There are locations in Stayer, McComsey, and Roddy, and their respective operating times are listed online.

Another key feature to solving the study space issue is the conversion of the Club de’Ville, in the bottom of the Student Memorial Center, into a quiet study zone. According to Dorney, students had been complaining about the lack of entirely quiet locations, and thus the quiet study space in the SMC was born. The Club de’Ville is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the area is monitored by student workers hired by the library to ensure students can do their best work.

Once the library is complete, students will have a state-of-the-art facility which will provide unique opportunities. One new feature is a 24-hour study space that students will be able to access with a swipe of their student ID card. And within this new 24-hour section, there will be an expanded café, which will hopefully include the campus Starbucks operation.

In the previous building, one floor was completely unavailable to students because it was reserved for machines that kept the building in operation. In the new facility, this floor is almost entirely reclaimed and converted into study space.

Dorney explained that the new library will also be a potential space for the community to function. New rooms equipped with tables, white boards, and comfortable seating will provide the chance for organizations outside of Millersville University to come in and further enhance students’ opportunities.

Throughout this entire renovation project, Dorney explains in Millersville University’s blog, the Exchange, that faculty members are “working hard to take the concerns and issues… and come up with solutions, so there is less of a burden on the students.”

The new library will be reopened and rededicated in the fall 2013 semester, which will open many doors for both incoming and current students.

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