By Holly Pyper
Albion College’s Library renovations are far from its conclusion. Phase II of the Stockwell Memorial Library renovation is on the way.
The purpose of the renovations is not only to provide a more attractive library for students, but also to improve students’ learning experience.
“The library will be a center for learning,” said Joshua Merchant, vice president for institutional advancement. “It’s going to be a library of the future.”
The stacks or “tiers” of the library will no longer exist. Instead, there will be compact shelving to act as home for the books all on the Mudd side. This compact shelving will be an electronic system where the book shelves themselves are filed away. This storage system allows for more books to be shelved in Albion’s library.
Instead of the stacks, there will be an open atrium. However, the changes in the library are not only cosmetic. The lower level of Stockwell will become the John S. Ludington Career and Internship Center according to Merchant.
The Ludington Project aims to provide students with the supporte they need to be career ready by the end of their time at Albion. It will include features such as technologically enhanced interview rooms and professional meeting spaces.
Now the big question is when the library will be changed. The answer is, before any progress can be made fundraising for the project must be completed.
“We’re still actively fundraising,” Merchant said. “We are a little over halfway to our fundraising goal and hope to have the fundraising finished by the end of the fiscal year.”
As students are learning about the upcoming changes to the library they are speaking out and sharing their opinions about the renovations.
“I’m a little nervous but overall I think it’s a great idea,” said Alex Kuligoswki, South Lyon sophomore. “It’s about the newer, the bigger, the better.”
Although many students are optimistic about the project as a whole, the trend seems to be that the stacks will be missed.
“The stacks were a big attraction when I came to Albion,” Kuligowski said. “I knew then that Albion is where I want to be, and this [the stacks] is where I want to study.”
Missing the stacks appears to be a common theme among students. It is a unique and effective study space which Brits value.
“With the stacks going away it’ll be harder to find those silent study areas,” said Kate Jakubowski, Northville sophomore. “It’s a safe haven for students.”
Students are looking forward to having such readily accessible to a space dedicated to their futures and careers. They are exceptionally optimistic about the new intent of the library’s lower level.
“The career and internship center will be a great resource, and it’ll be nice that it’s more visible to students now,” Jakubowski said.
Although students will need to adjust to the new design of the library, I foresee students growing to love the new “library of the future,” even without the stacks.
More detailed information regarding the future of Albion College’s library can be found at http://www.albion.edu/giving/current-initiatives/library-upgrades.