First phase of library renovation is underway

In Campus News, News
Renzy Reyes / Daily Titan The Pollak Library is undergoing many changes to accommodate the needs of students.
Renzy Reyes / Daily Titan
The Pollak Library is undergoing many changes to accommodate the needs of students.

The Pollak Library now has more than 400,000 books available for checkout during the $15 million library overhaul that has commenced construction on the first, fourth and fifth floors of the south building.

Some of the library centers will get a new home, with the Chicano and Chicana resource center moving to the old Academic Senate chambers in the Titan Bookstore, University Librarian Scott Hewitt said.

The Graduate Studies program will get a temporary space on the third floor in the south building, with a big increase in space from the small group study rooms they previously had on the first floor.

Katherine Powers, Graduate Studies director, said the program will get 1500 square feet of space and will house its own Student Success Center, like the rest of the schools on campus. She said the center will be moved into a permanent space once the library renovations are completed.

The program received a multi-year federal grant of half a million dollars a year over the next 4 years in order to help cover the costs of equipment to check out, advisors, tutors, furnished lounge space and workshops it plans to host, Powers said. It will be a hub for graduate students, she said. “You walk in there and you’ll get some help.”

Another noticeable change inside the library is the spatial increase of the Titan Computer Lab on the first floor. Hewitt said the library staff conducted a survey and found that one of the biggest complaints students had was the high density of computers on the first floor.

“But we didn’t want to lose computers,” Hewitt said. The library staff reconfigured the north fourth floor to house some of the computers, thinning out three of the four rows of computers on the first floor that were previously jammed together.

The library hours are also getting extended thanks to the Student Success Initiative that was implemented last year. The hours will be 7 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The renovation of the three floors is the first phase of the library overhaul which will help fix damage sustained from last year’s earthquake. Hewitt said that they hope to finish the first phase by the end of 2017.

“The biggest issue from the earthquake standpoint is the ceilings,” Hewitt said. The library will have the ceilings replaced along with new furniture, paint and flooring.

They have received $6 million from the Chancellor’s office to help pay for the costs, but they have not yet secured any grants, Hewitt said. “There might be some grants down the road.”

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