James Madison University
james madison carrier

Construction Zone: Libraries

April 13, 2023
James Madison; Black Hills State; UC Berkeley; Temple; DePauw; Arkansas
James Madison University plans library upgrade

James Madison University is planning to renovate and expand the Carrier Library on its Harrisonburg, Va., campus.

The updated building will include a 24-hour student study space, reading rooms, outdoor terraces, a café and consultation and group study rooms. Other features include a maker space and experimental technology classroom, video and audio podcasting studios, new collections areas, and a lab for the conservation of books and manuscripts.

“Concerns about accessibility and ADA compliance, crowding, safety, and overall navigability of the aging facility are the motivating factors” for the renovation, the university says on its website. “We want the new Carrier Library to be universally accessible, easy to visit, environmentally responsible, and welcoming.”

An accessible new entrance will make it easier for the campus and the community to visit the facility.

“Whether you enter through the preserved 1939 historic entrance or one of two new grand entrances, designed for maximum accessibility, you’ll find light-filled, airy spaces where you can read, research and create,” said Bethany Nowviskie, dean of libraries.

Construction is expected to begin this summer and will include the addition of 56,400 square feet and renovation of 121,200 square feet. Plans are to re-open the building for fall semester 2026. During the renovation, patrons will continue to have access to expert help, study spaces, books and resources at Rose Library, the Music Library, the Educational Technology & Media Center and other locations on campus. 

The architects are RAMSA and Moseley Architects.

Library renovation completed at South Dakota university

Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D., has completed a $9.3 million renovation of its campus library.

The Black Hills Pioneer reports that the E.Y. Berry Library-Learning Center closed in October 2020 for an upgrade of the 60,000-square-foot facility. The university also has built a 4,000-square-foot addition to the library’s second floor.

The facility was built in 1973 and needed an upgrade to keep up with modern educational demands. Deborah Liddick, assistant director of facilities and sustainability, says the renovation has created a place where students can go to meet all their needs, whether it's finding a quiet place to study, or meeting with their advisers.

The library has 11 study rooms throughout the building so that students can meet in groups without disturbing others studying by themselves.

The building also has a career center, tutoring center, writing lab, math lab, innovation lab, help desk, advisers’ offices and study rooms. The furniture in the building includes couches, "comfy" chairs, and desk cubicles.

UC Berkeley is closing 3 campus libraries

The University of California, Berkeley, plans to close three of its campus libraries in an effort to cut costs and operate more efficiently in an increasingly digital environment.

The libraries targeted for elimination—Anthropology, Mathematics Statistics and Physics-Astronomy—will be merged with some of the more than a dozen libraries that will remain on the Berkeley campus.

“[T]he Library does not have the resources to sustain all locations as they have been,” the university library says in a February 2023 document, “UC Berkeley Library’s long-term space plan.”

By January 2024, the Anthropology Library will merge with Main (Gardner) Stacks; by August 2024, the Physics-Astronomy Library will merge with the Chemistry Library; by August 2025, the Mathematics Statistics Library will merge with the Engineering Library.

The closings are part of the Library’s overall plan to “move to a layered system of spaces and services, consisting of hub libraries, satellite libraries, and by appointment libraries.”

  • Hub libraries “will offer a comprehensive suite of library services, which will include some mix of collections for browsing and/or checkout; in-person and online research help; access to printing, scanning, and other technology; spaces for studying; and more,” the university says.
  • Satellite libraries “may include collections for browsing along with spaces to focus on academic work in a smaller, more intimate environment; they will offer a shorter menu of services and may have shorter hours if budgets are reduced.”
  • By appointment libraries “will allow for access to collections and in-person research help through online requests and pickups at other locations; they will not offer walk-in service or browsing.”

In spelling out its plan, the library that future expansions or reductions in library service will depend on available funding.

“Moving forward, new opportunities may arise for the renovation, reimagination, and/or creation of a library space, and the Library is open to those discussions,” the plan says. “Future increases to the Library’s budget could provide funding to refresh locations, and potentially extend hours. Alternatively, stagnant or reduced budgets will require further consolidation of collections and spaces.” 


Former library at Temple University gets a new purpose

Temple University in Philadelphia has begun work on converting its former library into a home for the College of Public Health (CPH).

After Temple opened the Charles Library in 2019, the building known as Paley Library—no longer served that function. Now, renamed Paley Hall, it will undergo a 160,000-square-foot expansion and 150,000-square-foot renovation.

“Right now, CPH is spread out across 13 different buildings and two campuses,” says James Templeton, assistant vice president and university architect for Temple's Project Delivery Group. “Bringing them together helps them function so much better together, and it is appropriate that they will be consolidated into one building at the heart of campus.”

The building will have a number of state-of-the-art teaching spaces, a teaching kitchen and a simulation center.

The facility also will house a campus bookstore. 

Temple says the updated Paley Hall is scheduled to open in fall 2025.

DePauw University unveils modernized library

DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., has reopened its Roy O. West Library after a $30 million renovation and expansion.

The university says the facility, known as “Roy O,” was built in 1957 and been a fixture on campus ever since. The building’s interior spaces have not been renovated since 1986.

Roy O reopened in January after 18 months of building upgrades.

The renovated 92,000-square-foot library has 12,000 square feet of new space, including a reading/study room with a two-story atrium and fireplace plus a new façade of windows overlooking Indiana Street to more visually connect the library with downtown Greencastle. The university has relocated Archives & Special Collections to the lower level, and they now have space to house all of their collections.

 Café Roy has moved to the lower level and been expanded to include additional seating. The books have returned to shelves on the second and third floors as well as new compact shelving in the lower level. There are a variety of seating options in a mix of spaces that support group work and individual study.

The building is also now home to the Learning Commons, formerly known as the Academic Resource Center, where students can receive peer tutoring to improve their writing, quantitative reasoning, and speaking and listening skills.

The architect is Ratio Architects.

University of Arkansas begins second phase of library modernization

Work has begun on the second phase of renovations at Mullins Library at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. The upgrades seek to meet the needs of today’s technology-rich teaching and learning styles.

Levels 1 and 2 of the facility have been closed and will be updated with a café and robust technology offerings. Special Collections will gain an additional 3,000 square feet of space for storing materials on site, and some collections in circulation will be moved to more prominent locations. 

"The renovations to Special Collections will bring a state-of-the-art environment to help preserve our rare and distinct items," said Melanie Griffin, interim associate dean for Special Collections.

Level 2 will have family study space and curriculum materials for education students.  Enhanced technology offerings will include a space for virtual and augmented reality, a makerspace, a recording studio and a video capture room.

"We continue to refine the design for the renovation of levels 1 and 2 of Mullins Library," said Jason Battles, dean of University Libraries. "New programmatic spaces will be available to every student in every discipline to use for research, courses and their own curiosity.”

Phase one of the of the Mullins Library renovations covered level 3 and 4 and were completed in 2021. Books are shelved on these floors as well as group study rooms.

It is anticipated that Phase II will be complete by summer 2024. 

The architects for phase II are Kennedy & Violich Architecture and DEMX Architecture.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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