by Mary Strife, Pittsburgh Chapter, Academic Division
In this age of iPhones, iPads and “I want it now”, there are a few things that still take time. And sometimes we benefit by taking the time. The Evansdale Library opened in 1980 and received updated technology, some new furniture and new carpeting in 2000. By 2005, there was something lacking. We negotiated with the administration for funds to retool the first floor only. We added weight to our cause by conducting student surveys and focus groups. I sat in the room for all three focus groups, run by the chair of the Interior Design Division. She did a great job with the questions, getting the exact information needed to support our floor redesign. The majority of the renovation happened in the summer of 2009. Students did not get everything they wanted, but what did happen was a great change. We put in movable furniture, white boards, and three new study rooms. Students asked for space to display their projects, since students do not generally go into other’s areas. So we have used floor space and provided different types of cabinet space and wall cases for their projects.
The Fashion Design students and faculty were the first to take advantage of this area. Everyone was very pleased with the results. We are now working to install a hanging system for art work and bringing in other student displays. I think that giving students a way to connect with the library is essential to the future.
Mary Strife is the Director of the Evansdale Library at West Virginia University. She is a past-President of the New York Upstate Chapter, has been Bulletin Editor for the Chemistry Division, and currently serves on the Information Ethics Advisory Council.