Library restructuring provides better service for students

Although this year’s first- years do not remember the library’s clunky entrance last year, to upperclassmen the removal of the turnstiles and the opening of the glass door to the central staircase is a welcome and freeing change on campus. According to Sue Aber, Vice President of Information Services & CIO the restructuring supports the library’s new mission statement: “maintaining an inviting facility that inspires creativity, flexibility and innovation.” She adds that the change comes in response to a feeling that, “the turnstile created an unwelcoming barrier… we wanted to restore a more natural flow to the entrance way, which is why the glass doors are now open as well. We want everyone to feel welcomed.”
Ms. Aber also said that, statistically, last year “only  four percent of the library traffic used the turnstile,” opting instead to go  in through the unlocked exit gate, rendering it merely a useless barrier to the sometimes high-traffic area, without actually providing any real safety measures. The restructuring makes the library no less safe than before. Ms. Aber commented that “campus safety is a great partner, they do come through the Library and Information Technology Center at different times during the day.”
Although the first change one notices upon entrance to the library this year is the freeing effect of the newly opened space, other changes have taken place as well. Ms. Aber informed me that “… six of our study rooms have been updated with vibrant accent walls and a gray wall with ‘idea paint’ to inspire creativity and collaboration, matching the work that was done in the first year dorms, kitchens and common spaces.” To clarify, painting the walls with “idea paint” allows dry-erase markers to be used on the walls, essentially giving the entire wall the function of a whiteboard. When I visited these rooms myself I noticed the much warmer, more human effect of the brightly colored walls, and expect that students will greatly appreciate the changes made this summer.
Taking a broader perspective, Ms Aber noted that much of the work done in the library was done in order to merge the technology branch with the more traditional library branch. While the effect of this will be to allow a more fluid form of interaction between the two, increasing opportunities for academic projects, Ms. Aber assured me that the printed, bound books aren’t going anywhere, in other words that the Trinity library embraces the advantages of technological modernity while maintaining the advantages of an old-fashioned library at the same time.

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