After what turned out to be just 2 weeks short of one full year, we are now back in our newly renovated building. I really wish that I had detailed floor plans of the main and upper floors that I could put in here (I will be seeing to that shortly, I hope) to show you who are familiar with what the "old" LRC looked like.
Our campus newspaper came and did a story on the renovation before we moved out, and repeated the feat just after we moved back in. They talked mostly to Judi, one of our Library Circulation Assistants, promoting her to "Librarian" in the story - for the average person, anyone who works in a library is a Librarian (sorry Judi, a pay raise doesn't come with that). Here's a link to the story.
So far, so good. Of course, there are a number of issues that need to be resolved - that's true any time you have a serious renovation. Fortunately for us, so fa the majority of the problems are inconveniences as opposed to the kind of things that make you unable to do your job (and drive you crazy into the bargain). The students will be happier when the wireless network is working again, but when it is working, I am hoping that the reception will be much more consistent than before, with 5 - count 'em, 5 - wireless access points on the ceiling covering the upper floors.
There are a lot of changes.
The entire collection is now on the main floor. I thought this was going to look crowded and cluttered, but it really doesn't. We were able to shorten some of the range lengths, which helped avoid this problem, I think. Coupled with the new location is - ta da - brand new lighting that hangs between the range units, as well as newer lighting elsewhere in the building. It is absolutely amazing the difference that it makes - you can actually see to read in the building, now, and you can read spines and call numbers of books on the shelves. There were times when you needed a miner's helmet to do that upstairs in the "old" LRC.
What I am really excited about is the 4 student study rooms that are new to the upper floor. 2 rooms have seating for 6, while two can seat 12 at round bistro-type tables. All 4 rooms could probably hold another 4-6 people in a pinch. They are designed both for quiet study and for group use; both of these are things that we have received complaints about the lack of before, so we are hoping that they will be able to serve a dual purpose. There is also a student conference room (for student groups), a faculty/staff conference room (that has been getting a serious workout already, due to its size and comfortable accommodation for 12), and office space for 8-9 adjunct faculty. It is really nice to be able to offer the adjuncts a nice office space here, as they tend to get the short end of the stick in term of office space in many places.
OK, I could go on and on about this. Why don't you just come over and check it out for yourself?