More than 480 new outlets were installed on the fourth and fifth floors of the Gelman Library this summer, University Librarian Jack Siggins said Monday.
The outlets were installed along the rows of study carrels on the two floors, said Ann Brown, a librarian in Gelman. The demand for outlets has risen quickly with many students needing power for their laptops in the library.
“We have known this has been a growing problem over the last year or so, as students use computers more and more,” Siggins said. “In a building this old, nobody had planned on having a need for so many outlets when this building was built 30 or 35 years ago.”
Siggins said Executive Vice President and Treasurer Lou Katz was responsive to the need for more outlets.
“He listened to the students, he listened to me, and he has tried to do the best he could, and he made it happen,” Siggins said.
Also instrumental to the addition of outlets was sophomore Erik Ashida, Siggins said.
Ashida, who is also a Student Association Senator from the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, worked as a student liaison to help make clear that the addition of outlets to the library was necessary.
“Electrical outlets might not be the most glamorous solution that comes to mind when people talk about how to improve study space – but it makes sense when you think about how dependent we are on our laptops and other electronics these days,” Ashida said in an e-mail. “Many of the areas now being renovated under this proposal were being underused because they didn’t have electrical outlets, so this project was an elegant way to increase the amount of useful study space available to students for a fraction of the cost of physically expanding a building.”