Renovations have begun on MSU’s Renne Library, starting with the north section and lobby of the third floor this summer. The renovations focus on making the library the most conducive learning area possible for all visitors of the library. The remodel includes carpeting the north study space, adding study tables and chairs, tiling the lobby, adding a new water bottle dispenser and painting.
The north wing of the third floor, which looks out toward Montana Hall, previously was home to a collection of maps held in metal cabinets. Last January and February, the maps were relocated to the fourth floor. For the time before the renovations began, study carrels were moved into the space to provide extra study room.
The carols have now been moved out so that new carpet can be installed. Under this new carpet a new wiring configuration will be installed. This will allow for power stations at every table.
Technology has brought many changes that the library has to keep up with. Having power stations at tables has almost become a necessity, but only a few years ago, their nonexistence was not an inconvenience. Kris Johnson is the head of Learning and Research Services at the library and part of the Library Spaces and Technology Renovation Committee, which heads the remodeling project. Johnson says that one of current goals of the library is to be prepared for the rapid changes that have come about with technology. “This is a trend that is nationwide right now which is library spaces and making them more conducive for learning in the 21st century,” Johnson said.
The study tables were chosen over closed off study carrels based on the principle that some students study better in quiet areas “alone together.” The study area will be similar to the second floor but the tables and chairs will be upgraded. Comfortable chairs will also be placed facing the large glass windows that look onto Montana Hall.
The lobby of the third floor and entrance to the north area have also changed. The wall and doors were taken out and a glass wall, like the one on the opposite side going into the fountain area, has been installed. The area surrounding the drinking fountain is being tiled, painted and a new water fountain, which will also fill water bottles with filtered water, is being added. Due to complaints that the doors going into the water fountain area were too loud, new, more quiet doors were also installed on that side of the third floor.
Creating better learning areas for students and visitors of the library means keeping up with new trends and also listening to students, which the library focuses on. “We do watch what’s going on nationally and we try to keep up and this project is an example of that,” Johnson said.