By Molly Schroering–
Recent survey results said students thought the third floor is crowded, outdated and dim. Now, major renovations are set to begin in May on the third floor of Ekstrom Library.
Because of the time and care involved in curating, documenting and filing information, some books will be inaccessible between six months and two years.
Many of them are being moved to high-density storage or the robotic retrieval system. Those who wish to borrow materials that have been moved may also use the inter library loan system to access them from other libraries.
Carolyn Dowd, senior communication coordinator for the university libraries, said this renovation is necessary. “The reason for the renovation is clear,” she said. “Enrollment is predicted to grow in the coming years, and it is crucial that we support a larger population with a high-quality library experience. Because our footprint and square footage will not grow, we need to make the best use of the space we have.”
Other goals of the renovation are to increase the number of student seats, clearly define the third floor as a quiet study and learning space, create innovative space devoted to the needs of graduate students and modernize the third floor to meet student needs.
The renovation will accomplish these goals by creating a new Reading Room and a dedicated graduate student study area. Another large component of the renovation is a proposed Jewish Studies Reading Room in the space formerly occupied by the Writing Center.
Dowd also said raising the seat-to-student ratio will give the university a competitive edge in recruitment.
The third floor will remain a quiet floor after construction, and it is now in its final preparation and planning stage.
During construction the third floor will have limited accessibility, but all of the other floors of the library will remain open to students. The construction is anticipated to conclude by September 2019.
File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal