As you walk around the library this summer you will see a number of projects underway.
The first thing you may have noticed is that it is not always easy to enter the building. With 3 million patron visits a year, our doors get a lot of work. If you figure that after 12 years, any one of the 12 doors in our main entry may have been opened 3 million times, it isn’t surprising that they are due for some maintenance. In fact, we decided it was time to replace the doors and the accessibility systems.
Once you are in the building, you will find that while the north end of the building is nice and cool and the south end of the building is quite pleasant, the middle of the building, the oldest section as it turns out, is just plain hot. The air handling system in the middle section of the building has worn out and we are replacing all the fans. Some people have asked, “why didn’t we do this work in the winter?” That is a fair question, but the fact is that people, computers, and library materials can deal with some heat and some cold, but if we turned off the system in the winter there is a risk of freezing pipes, and that is too big of a risk for any library. The good news is that there are plenty of seats and study tables in the cool parts of the building during the summer.
Finally, you may have seen the construction in the reading room on level 2. The changes to the reading room are part of a long term plan to improve service to our patrons. This summer, there will be some changes to the area in the south end of the room. New furniture will finally be installed along with new shelving. We think it will make a space that is already popular into one of the favorite destinations on campus. Don’t worry; it will still be a quiet study area.