Learning About the Library


Alden Library to undergo several changes, upgrades

Maddie Capron / News Editor

Alden Library is sometimes noisy, full of students who often have food and drinks, but it’s also one of the largest research libraries in North America.

With more students using the library now than in recent years, Alden Library will undergo three construction projects this summer to make it more accessible to more students and different types of learners.

“As all the students will see when they come back in the fall … we try to accommodate a lot of different learners and the types of learning spaces they want,” Kelly Broughton, assistant dean for Research and Education Services, said. “We have group rooms, open group spaces. We try to have quiet space as much as possible.”

In the first of the projects, the fourth floor will open 24 hours five days a week starting Fall Semester. By adding overnight swipe access to the building, the library will be able to keep the second and fourth floors open 24 hours Sunday through Thursday.

That change, however, will make renovations to the bathrooms on the fourth floor necessary since they will have to accommodate students during all hours of the day.

Alden Library

Emily Matthews | FILE

A portion of the second floor of Alden Library is closed for the first phase of renovations.

Another project happening is that the Academic Advancement Center will move from the first floor to the second floor to be more accessible and visible to students.

“They help students with their study skills so whether you’re struggling in a chemistry class or you’re a junior who wants to boost their GPA up a couple of points so you’re getting into a better law school, they’re there to help,” Scott Seaman, dean of Ohio University Libraries, said.

The Academic Advancement Center move and the renovations on the fourth floor will cost a total of $2.1 million. About $1.8 million of that money will be used to relocate the Academic Advancement Center, and the remainder will be used on the restrooms on the fourth floor.

“The remainder of that is going to electrical and plumbing work on the fourth floor so that we will have restrooms available in the middle of the night for students,” Seaman said.

Additionally, the fifth floor will receive new carpeting and furniture to promote quiet study and individual work. That project will cost about $110,000, and it will be paid by donor dollars.

“The second floor is pretty loud,” he said. “The fourth floor is medium loud. This space will be deep quiet. I think this space on the fifth floor is going to turn out really, really well. The views from the fifth floor are terrific.”

As the last project to be finished by Fall Semester, Alden Library will implement a chat service where students can chat or text a librarian if they need help. The librarian then will come to the student who needs help, whether they are on a laptop, desktop or wherever in the library.

“They can text us and we’ll come to them,” Broughton said. “I think that’s the most important thing for (students) to know. It can be overwhelming and scary, but we’re here to help.”

The projects are to be completed in early August before students return to campus, Greg Robertson, associate vice president for Architecture, Design & Construction, said.

“We try to finish our construction projects before the students return to minimize disruption,” he said. “If there’s anyway we can get it in, we will. Otherwise you might see some work going on.”

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