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Sunday, December 16, 2018

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The primary entrance to the new Library Computing Hub will remain on the south side of the second floor. The primary entrance to the new Library Computing Hub will remain on the south side of the second floor.

New Name, New Look

The Student Computing Center was remodeled and rebranded over the summer.
By Tobin Vaughn

One of the most heavily-used areas of Love Library is reopening just in time for the fall 2015 semester with a new name and a new look. 

The Student Computing Center, the largest computer lab on campus, has been remodeled for a lighter, brighter appearance and rebranded as the Library Computing Hub.

In addition to accommodating new technology, improvements include better lighting and more seating for students. Eighty percent of the Computing Hub’s 282 computers have been refurbished or replaced.

New flooring, paint and mixed-use furniture are included in the facelift along with more electrical outlets for laptops and mobile devices. Ten adjustable-height workstations are also featured in the $900,000 project funded by the President's Budget Advisory Committee and student library fees.

“We’re so excited the university has funded this renovation,” said Library and Information Access Dean Gale Etschmaier. “This renovation will make the library experience for the students even better than it's been.”

An inviting atmosphere

One of the changes the dean points to is the removal of the vertical blinds that blocked views of campus greenery, contributing to “a dungeon-like feeling” in the former Computing Center. Now, she said, there is “that openness, the natural light, the inviting kind of atmosphere that really lends itself to inspiring creativity and learning."

The space on the library’s second floor has largely been untouched since it was converted to serve as the Student Computing Center with the opening of the domed library annex in 1996. Before that it served as the library’s main entrance floor housing the reference desk, circulation desk, card catalog, pay phones and change machines for the copiers.

The north-side doors provided “a beautiful entrance,” said Assistant Head of Reference Services Linda Muroi, who has worked at the library since 1985. “But the pressure to have computing was so high, that’s why it was converted for student computing.”

Reconfiguring the space will allow overall seating capacity on the second floor to be increased by 64 percent. Gate and room counts have consistently shown the former Student Computing Center to be the most heavily used area of the library, confirming the need for more seating.

An added benefit to re-opening walls to expose the old library entrance is bringing more light to the moving discus stairwell.  The multi-floor moving discus sculpture was a central artistic and architectural highlight of the original Love Library and will once again be visible to passersby.

The primary entrance to the new Library Computing Hub will remain on the south side of the second floor. Reopening is set for August 17.