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McDonald makeover

By Molly Boes
On August 24, 2011

The McDonald library received a makeover this summer in addition to the various other changes to Xavier's campus.

Since its opening in 1967, the library has experienced few changes.

In 2007, the first floor of the library was made into a model for the Conaton Learning Commons (CLC) and Connection Center, and was fitted with a new service desk, new furniture, workstations, flat screens and white boards. Most of the furniture and equipment was then moved into the CLC when it opened in 2010.

Other than reworking the first floor, the library has received only minor renovations and had some new furniture installed over the years.

According to Amy Ensor, director for content management, students participated in surveys and focus groups last year and, according to the responses, students wanted a quiet place to study with minimal distraction and the library was not meeting these needs.

In order to meet the needs of the students, the library staff and physical plant worked with contractors to create a student-friendly work space.

"The library is packed with students all year round, and our users feel passionately about our library," Ensor said in an e-mail. "We weren't able to do everything we would have wanted to do in our wildest dreams; a comprehensive library re-development is still several years away, but the existing library clearly needed a facelift, and we are hopeful that students will find the new space to be welcoming and inviting."

This past May, every book, shelf and piece of furniture was removed from the building as well as the carpet. An asbestos abatement contractor safely removed asbestos tile. On the second and third floors, several walls and rooms were removed or changed to create more open space and a new library classroom was built on the first floor.

The library has been equipped with new flooring, lighting, paint, shelving and furniture, and the elevator was updated. The service desk on the first floor was shortened to permit more seating in the area.

All of the books and collections were returned to the library at the end of the summer and have been checked and organized by the library staff. Many of these items have been moved to new locations in the library.

Visitors must now swipe their All Cards after 10 p.m. to enter the library in order to enhance the security in the building.

The library is still awaiting the arrival of additional pieces of furniture and more technology, including signs to help direct visitors and a few other amenities, such as mobile white boards, which will be installed throughout the next few weeks.

"The renovations were enormously successful. To do all that we did in such a short amount of time was nothing short of incredible," Ensor said.


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