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Summertime renovation for EPSL

Posted: Aug 17, 2016

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Students returning to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Library will find upgrades designed to make their time in the library more productive--including a new layout, furnishings and services.


New computer tables and ergonomic chairs now fill the expansive central space. Natural light from the first-floor windows brightens an area previously obstructed by upright shelving. Additional power outlets make it easy for students to charge phones or tablets. Upholstered furniture near the entryway creates a lounge area. New carpeting replaces that which was 30 years old.


“Things feel fresh and new,” says Nevenka Zdravkovska, head of the STEM Libraries, which includes EPSL and the White Memorial Chemistry Library, “but this is more than a facelift. The changes reflect  how students use libraries today. They want greater access to technology and a space that offers whatever services they need to accomplish their work.”


The library has long been responding to student needs and expectations. An instruction and study room designed to foster collaboration, for example, allows students to reconfigure tables and chairs to accommodate groups.  They can share their work on a large viewing monitor that can be wheeled around the room.


Students can also print models or prototypes on a 3D printer or check out laptops, chargers and scientific calculators for short-term loan. (Added to the growing list of equipment for loan is a new 360-degree camera and even skeletal and muscle models for anatomy classes.)  Subject specialists in every science-related discipline, from agriculture to physics and engineering, are always nearby to share expertise. 

“Students in most science disciplines need up-to-date information and research and the space to collaborate,” Zdravkovska says.  “This renovated library provides exactly that.”  


She says plans are under way to offer additional services, including popular offerings such as GIS and statistical workshops piloted in the Research Commons, a suite of services for higher-level researchers that expands the boundaries of a traditional library.