Library receives financial boost

Gelman library now has some more means to meet their library improvement needs.

University Librarian Jack Siggins said a budget $1 million larger than last year enabled him to improve the book, periodical and database collections at Gelman Library and Eckles Library at the Mount Vernon Campus. Siggins said the extra money also allowed for more space, renovations and the addition of a coffee bar.

Siggins said the most exciting addition will be Starbucks Coffee. After six years of negotiations, Siggins said he has finally come to agreement with Starbucks to install a cafe adjacent to the 24-hour study area downstairs.

Scheduled to open spring semester, the cafe will include a sitting area and will sell food as well. Students will still be able to bring coffee into any part of the library in spill-proof containers.

“We will sell spill-proof mugs at a very reasonable price at the facility – most likely for only a dollar or so,” Siggins said.

Some students said they are concerned the library will run out of room after already nearing full capacity last year.

“The library never had enough room,” sophomore Joe Schwartz said. “It was bad to begin with. (More students) will just make it worse.”

Siggins said the fifth floor will become a 24-hour study area to relieve congestion in the first floor and computer lab, the current 24-hour facilities. He also said the sixth floor and lower level will be remodeled to accommodate more students. Those renovations will not be complete until the summer.

Two additional reading alcoves will be added to the fourth and fifth floors along with more tables. Siggins said the walls will be re-painted and the library will add new artwork and comfortable furniture that resembles chairs and sofas on the sixth floor.

Sophomore Colleen Hagerty said she is excited about the improvements.

“It’ll be nice to have comfy furniture on other floors, because that is what draws people to the sixth floor: the welcoming, relaxing atmosphere,” she said.

Siggins said while most library changes were planned before the increase in student population, the large number of freshmen “will have a definite impact on us.”

Other efforts to improve efficiency include the installation of a self-checkout machine on the fourth floor, which will match the one on the ground floor.

Gelman is home to a collection of about 2 million volumes. It offers various types of study areas on six floors, including 24-hour reading rooms, group discussion rooms, closed study rooms, quiet study areas and general study rooms.

The library has several upcoming events for students. The Gelman collection will reach 2 million copies Oct. 18 and 19. Siggins said the historic book will be a rare book donated to the library but offered no clues to what it is.

Gelman will also host its first Cafe Gelman of the year Oct. 25. The event will include entertainment, special guests, a speaker, an open poetry reading, music and free coffee and espresso.

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