@MAC: New library slowly revealing itself

Students are finally beginning to see some results of the summer’s renovations on the Macdonald Campus Library.

Only the upper level of the library, which houses the print journal collection, the photocopiers and some computers, was made available to students after being closed since May 1. The remainder of the library will be available by the first week of October and a grand opening is later in October as a part of homecoming celebrations.

However, the opening is about four weeks late according to Head Librarian Erica Burnham.

“The thing we are really waiting for,” she said, “is the completion of the link [between the library and the main building on campus] because that’s going to be how everyone will get to the library and we can’t really open the library until the link is finished.”

After the completion of the link, the library materials as well as instructional courses will be moved into the new space.

Burnham emphasized that the new library will have more group study space as well as a greater focus on technology.

“When the library is finished, there will be a total of 25 computers. We have tables with electricity and data jacks in them, so it will be a better place in terms of working with print materials and the computer at the same time. In general, we hope that it will be more comfortable for people to sit and read, and we will also have some quiet study spaces.”

Prior to the partial opening, a temporary setup was made in the faculty lounge.  At the beginning of the summer, all of the books and journals-6,500 boxes in total-were packed up and made inaccessible, but as the library purchased new books and had materials returned to them, they were able to circulate a limited amount of materials to the graduate students and staff who were still on campus.  Additional books were made available via inter-library loans.

Undergraduates, on the other hand, were less affected since the closure happened after final exams and courses have yet to kick into full gear for this semester.

“There is some confusion, but we’re trying to get the professors to understand what materials are available,” Burnham said. “It’s certainly an inconvenience, but one that couldn’t really be avoided.”

The feedback on the new library has been mixed and students have many suggestions for what will be made available on the main floor of the library.

“It’s less depressing,” said Kathleen Shaw, U3 Dietetics. “I don’t know what the other floor is going to look like, but I don’t like the open tables, I liked the individual carrels they had before and I hope they’ll have them.”

Anik Girard, U1 Bioresource Engineering, had not seen the library pre-renovations, but liked the lighting and ambiance that this library provides.

“For now it’s nice, but I hope they’ll have more public computers, because most of the ones here seem to only access the library catalogue.”

The library will be officially opened on October 21.

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