Renovations Add Light, Technology
A $1.7 million makeover of the Health Center’s Lyman Maynard Stowe Library is nearly complete.
“The current renovation of the library was based on the need to take a facility designed in the 1960’s and bring it into the 21st century,” says Ralph Arcari, associate vice president for academic resources and services, and library director. “The new library is intended to be an information commons, to use the contemporary description of how libraries are responding to library users’ needs at a time when books and journals are moving to an electronic format.”
“It was dark before, and gray and crowded,” says Evelyn Breck Morgen, associate director. “Now it’s open, fresh, bright, and inviting.”
The central courtyard was used as a focal point in the redesign, Arcari says, and the 20-foot windows were seen as an attractive feature for readers. The architects were asked to “bring the outside in.”
“The courtyard is so beautiful and they succeeded in making the library a part of it,” Morgen says. “Everything is airy and bright.”
It’s functional too. The renovated library includes:
No space was added, but moving the front door and combining operations gives the impression that the renovated library is larger than it was previously.
The renovation of the library’s main reading and study area was funded by state bonds and major donations. A second stage of renovations is scheduled for 2008 and will include ground-floor rooms.
“We’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time,” says Hongjie Wang, librarian. “New fixtures and new furniture and the redesign – the library looks brand new!”