From the Dean…
What is going on in RBD?
I’d like to use my column to answer some questions and share some information.
What is going on in RBD Library? The short answer is: a lot. There is always a lot going in the Libraries! In addition to our usual busy days and nights serving the students and faculty, we’ve been trying to get ready for the hoped-for new carpet in the public areas on the first and second floor.
New carpet! Why new carpet? Most of the carpet in the building as not been replaced since the addition opened in 1991 and a quick glance around the building indicates that it has been thoroughly used. With two million visitors a year, the carpet is showing signs, serious signs, of heavy use.
What is it going to look like? Marcia Boosinger has worked closely with the Student Advisory Council, a designer and consulted many of you to select a new color scheme. The new paint colors and now the new carpet will reflect the new color scheme. The carpet is mostly earth tones with a little bit of blue. We’ll have samples at the holiday party for everyone to see.
How can we afford new carpet when everyone can see in the newspaper that money is tight this year? The University has a special fund for maintaining the buildings on campus. There is never enough money in the fund to maintain all that requires attention on campus. It has taken a long time for the Libraries to rise to the top of the list but this year is our turn.
What about my office? This round of funding is for public spaces. We’ll have to work to find funding to carpet, paint and make improvements in our office areas. For right now, that’s in the future.
What about all the other improvements:
The Newspaper Room? Isn’t it getting new carpet and new furniture? How can we afford that? As you know, the Newspaper Room also serves as the Alabama Newspaper Hall of Honor. We presented a request to the sponsors of the award, the Alabama Press Association, to help us improve the appearance of the room for their future meetings and all our users. We were honored to receive the largest gift they have ever given outside their organization and have worked closely with them to plan for the improvements in the room.
The new Lobby Lab and the improvements in the other second floor class room? Each year, every dean is allowed to make a request to the General Classroom Fund to improve instructional spaces. We were lucky enough to get funded two years in a row. The fact that the rooms are multi-use and available to students around the clock was a big factor in receiving the funding.
The Graduate Student Individual Study Room on the third floor? The Graduate Student Council worked with Marcia Boosinger to request funding for new furnishings from the Concessions Board.
What’s going to happen next? The OIT Help Desk is going to move to the third floor, opening the space it currently occupies for the Service Desk to become more visible. The juvenile books will move to the third floor to improve proximity with the education collections and open space on the second floor for learning commons concepts to be incorporated in the areas near the Reference Desk. The EBSCO company gave us some money to purchase some furniture and make these changes.
What will happen in the next month? We are going to be very busy! We have many books to move. Glenn Anderson and JP Pendleton have already asked for your help in moving books to get ready for the new carpet.
We have to plan to serve our users with the least possible interruption. We will have to close RBD over the holidays so there will be lots of work to plan and get ready to serve our users out of LADC and the Vet Med Library this holiday period.
I hope you are as pleased as I am that we have received funding from the University and our generous donors to make these improvements. I know we all hope that we’ll be able to continuously make the Libraries more attractive and responsive to our users’ changing needs. This progress will definitely be something we can celebrate at our end-of-the-year holiday party.
Holiday Party? Did you say holiday party? Yes, mark your calendar for lunchtime on December 16 when we’ll gather to celebrate the end of a very productive year, collect donated toys for the Toys for Tots program and look forward to another exciting year in the Auburn University Libraries.