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Library waives deposit on renovated carrels
February 2, 1998

The wraps are finally off the outside of the library and the transformation of the interior is beginning as well.

Last semester the library opened up some of the newly renovated study carrels on the second, third and fourth floors for use by researchers. But when the invitations to apply for research study space in the library went out, some members of the University community were surprised to be asked for a $100 room deposit.

The library has now responded to people's concerns and has decided to forgo the deposit, returning the money to those who have already paid. The $30 key deposit (the same fee as before), which is refunded when the key is returned, is still required, however.

"We still believe in the original intent (of the room deposit) - to keep the newly restored carrels in as good a shape as possible," says Kobulnicky, "but it turned out not to be the message we want to send. We want to welcome people back into the library and we are willing to risk the wear and tear to achieve a more welcoming environment for people to return to."

Not all of the 200 carrels are ready yet and those that are are in high demand. In addition to checking with those who were using the carrels before the renovations, the library will also try to accommodate people from the Whetten Graduate Center during renovations there.

The carrels are assigned, as they become available, to faculty, staff, students, visiting scholars and emeriti, who are working on long-term projects requiring extensive use of library resources.

Renovations to the carrels include new windows, new wooden trim, steam heating, and a fresh coat of paint. As the library recarpets levels two through four, the carrels will also receive new carpeting. In addition, some of the carrels will be fitted with Internet ports to accommodate laptop computers.

"We recognized that there had been a lot of money put into renovations of the library and some problems with careless use of the place in the past, but we felt there were other ways of dealing with it," says Edward Marth, executive director of the UConn chapter of the American Association of University Professors. He says users should sign a statement of responsibility at the time a carrel is assigned. "People have to be conscious of and care for facilities," he says.

Applications for research study space in the library, which must be renewed annually, are accepted three times a year. For the spring semester the available carrels have already been assigned. Applications for the summer will be accepted May 1-15, and for the fall semester, August 1-15.

Elizabeth Omara-Otunnu