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Helmke Library Refresh Underway

The library has been dismantled to allow for construction.

Photo credit: Bernadette Becker

The library has been dismantled to allow for construction.
Written by: Communicator StaffJanuary 23, 2016

Written by Bernadette Becker

The Library Refresh project has been underway since the end of last semester and will continue for the next 12 months.

Dean of the Library, Cheryl Truesdell, has tried to keep students informed via every medium of communication possible about the proceedings but there still seems to be a bit of confusion regarding the plans and capabilities of the library even throughout the renovation, she said.

The Library Services Center is located in the previous 24 hour lab. At the Center, students can still request and pick up books. There are still iPads and laptops available to be checked out. There are still reserves open for faculty and a disability accessible workstation is available for students.

The reference librarians are accessible and appointments can be made to meet with them. Moreover, the front desk can answer any questions about IUCAT, the IU catalog, or other general concerns from students. Also, the website contains all the Library’s virtual resources of almost 85,000 online journals, ebooks and other resources.

“The librarians are  primarily scattered across campus but many of them are within their departments that they serve,” said Truesdell. She  explained that this relocation has actually been a source of many positive interactions between librarians, students and faculty. The librarians for the Business, Education and Science Departments are all now in the respective building they serve.

“We’ve made a lot of accommodations … the services we offer … are still being offered,” said Truesdell. She explained that reference books are now available for checkout as well.The only thing that cannot be provided is the facility itself but the furniture from the library has been relocated throughout campus to Neff Hall and the Science Building.

It is Truesdell’s hope that there will be new furniture for the new color scheme in the library. They have doubled study spaces on the bridge and at the bottom of the stairwell of the skybridge on the library side.

“I think students were afraid [that] they would lose the 24/7 computing,” said Truesdell, however there is now a 24/7 lab in Neff 113.

The new lab has nearby bathrooms and vending machines available and the building can be accessed during the night via the far south doors of Neff. The rest of the building has been gated off for night time. There are 16 computers and printers in the lab. There will be scanners, but they have not been  installed yet. The campus police is aware of the new lab location and will be patrolling the area.

Although the library cannot be used as a shortcut for the rest of campus, it is only restricted because it is a ‘hard-hat’ area with debris, dust and power tools. Only two groups are still working in the Library: the Honors Center and CA-TV in the basement. They are only able to continue in Helmke because the workers created safe zones around those two areas, but the noise is still excessive at times.

The excessive noise stems partially from the workers cutting a hole in the floor on the second level to allow a stairwell to be built in the center of the level allowing an open space.

“The purpose of this stairway is really to extend the services of the learning common from the first to second [floor]… a continuous service point,” said Truesdell, hoping to encourage students to get help. It will allow more room for group study, study rooms, presentation practice rooms, high-end computing area, interactive work, writing consultants, tutors, ITS, etc.

Additionally, there will be a new teaching-learning classroom on the third floor, and then on the fourth floor there will be a quiet study floor.

The renovation will also include all new heat and air conditioning, fire suppression systems, LED lighting and a new power grid to enable stable power for all of the student’s needs.

The renovation should last from January 2016 through December 2016.

The work was intended to have begun last summer but it was delayed due to design specifications, awaiting approval by the Purdue board of trustees and other contractor delays.