Friends of the library help finance new furniture and two new employees are welcomed.
CeCe Gaines| News Reporter
Many students may have noticed that the library looks slightly different. With roughly 26,000 people coming in and out of the library every month, staff saw the need to revamp a couple spaces in the library.
The first change noticed in the library is the renovation of the fireside lounge on the main floor.The main goal for this project was to make the space more welcoming and replace 15-year-old furniture that was tearing down. Library staff put out a survey to students last year to help design the space. “We found that students wanted the furniture and space to feel like home” Ann Gannon, administrative assistant said.
The library did a fundraiser to help fund the renovation project.”We did a crowd sourcing approach where we built a website with incentives and sent out emails and told people about it. We raised about $4,300″ Gannon continued.
Friends of the Library, the organization that partners with the library to help provide life-long learning materials; offered to help partially fund the fundraiser and the library would match it. Friends of the Library contributed a total of $9,000. In all, the new furniture project cost about $24,000.
Established in 1999 by college seniors, friends of the library is a group made up of mostly those who previously worked at the Bethel University library either as a student worker or a staff member. Some of them are faculty or staff on campus. Friends help provide accommodations that are found in a public library, but wouldn’t necessarily be part of an academic library collection.
They also support programming.The Prime Time program is co-sponsored by Friends of the Library as part of their mission of extending life beyond the classroom. Additionally, there is a library research prize funded annually, where students who are writing for classes can enter an essay contest to explain how they frequently use library materials. They also provide a $300 student worker scholarship.
The second change in the library is the new study lounge on the second level. Roughly 30 students, staff, and, facilities staff worked on a $10,000″800s project” this summer. The project involved 240 hours of shifting 45,000 volumes of books to make room for the new space. They also weeded out a couple thousand books from the library collection as well.
It’s a lot more welcoming and open up [there]” said Kaylin Creason, acquisitions and interlibrary loan supervisor.
The look of the library is not the only new change to look forward to, there are also new faces working in the library.
Serena Giese, the new reference librarian has come from Walter library at the University of Minnesota to work here. Also, Andy Johnson, psychology professor is the new president of friends of the library.