Student Government discusses library renovations

Aubrey Zych, Staff Writer

 

With the multitude of renovations around campus to the science center, the pub and the plaza, the library has been knocked down the to-do list year after year.

However, the Student Government Association (SGA) recently sat down with Robert Johnston, library director, to discuss what changes students would like to see made to the library over the next few years.

“We have had discussions about revamping the library for years,” Johnston said. “But with all the new renovations to the new science center and the pub, the library keeps getting put off.”

According to Johnston, use of the library has gone up 55 percent over the last four years, making renovations to the building a more practical option.

Johnston further explained that based on surveys that have been sent out to students, the Le Moyne community would like to see three distinct changes: more computers, better furniture and a café.

However, making all of these changes to the library would require a complete renovation.

“We would need to receive student input, hire an architect and have a full-blown construction site,” Johnston stated.

Until then, students can look forward to some less extreme, but nonetheless significant, changes around the library.

More movable white boards, chairs, and tables will be brought in to help accommodate study groups and group tutoring. A wireless printing option will also be introduced next fall to accommodate students who would like to print from their laptops.

Several SGA members also had their own suggestions and questions to bring to Johnston’s attention.

Freshman representative Krystal Ashey expressed the library’s need for more outlets.

“I have to walk around the whole floor and usually change my seat just to plug my computer in,” she explained.

Johnston stated that more outlets would be a very easy addition with renovations for a completely new library. Until then, the problem will have to remain unsolved.

Laura Nicolais, a sophomore representative, also suggested more individual study rooms because several parts of the library are too loud for students to focus.

Johnston stated that, even with a completely new, renovated library, more rooms will not be added.

“We aren’t adding any more space,” Johnston stated. “We are using the space that is already there and revamping what we have. We could look into enforcing silence in the Quiet Study Areas.”

Junior Jules Shelton expressed her concern for new offices interfering with computer space, therefore limiting the number of computers.

“We could actually have a lot more computers with a renovation,” Johnston responded. “We are trying to open up the space by taking out some walls. We’d like less offices and more service desks.”

According to Johnston, a main goal of the new library would be to create a technology-rich setting. One new feature would include presentation boards where students can hook up their laptops, and present a PowerPoint or slideshow. The new library would also include camcorders where students could record themselves practicing a speech and then play it back to critique themselves.

Shelton also questioned whether the library would be getting rid of books during the new renovation.

Johnston stated that books would only leave the library if they are “old and not circulated enough.” However, if the book is unique to Le Moyne, it will stay.

Junior Nicholas Cutter suggested expanding the library’s textbook collection so that textbooks for every class are available for students to check out.

Adding to Cutter’s suggestion, Allison Herholtz, a sophomore representative, questioned whether the library would be willing to accept textbook donations from students at the end of each semester.

“I know a lot of students who would rather donate the book than sell it back to the bookstore for a few dollars,” Herholtz said.

Johnston stated that nearly every book that is donated is accepted.

Cutter also suggested putting older, less popular books in storage so that there is more room in the library.

“It would free up a lot of space,” Cutter explained. “If a student wanted a book that was put in storage, they could request it ahead of time.”

SGA comptroller Sebastian Notaro also suggested expanding the 24-hour library schedule during finals week to the week before as well.

“I have a lot of finals and exams that are the last week of classes instead of finals week,” Notaro stated. “I know a lot of students would benefit from longer library hours the last week of classes.”

Johnston said that longer library hours for the last week of classes could happen if library staff would be willing to work the late hours.

SGA members closed the meeting after giving Johnston many suggestions and ideas for the new changes to the library. SGA members are hopeful that students can look forward to these changes in the upcoming semesters.

For more information regarding the changes around campus, to ask a question, or to have your voice heard, visit the SGA’s website at lemoyne.campusgroups.com/SGA.