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New library renovation plans draw mixed reactions

Construction might not be finished on the Mary Couts Burnett Library.

June Koelker, dean of the library, said the positive reactions to the newly renovated library have spurred new discussions for future renovations. A new construction project would update the now older sections of the library to match the newer wings.

The most recent project, which brought in more space and gave parts of the library a modern facelift, covered the off-campus Library annex, the west entrance and the east entrance. The library remained open to students during construction.

“Decisions are under consideration how best to go forward now that we have so much successfully completed,” Koelker said. “We had to do this in parts since the library was a working library during the construction year.”

Some students said they feel more renovations to the library could be more of a hassle than anything else.

Luke Warren, a junior film, television and digital media major, said it was difficult to go so long without having access to a lot of the library.

“There has been a lot of construction already, and while I enjoy what has been done, it would be tough to have to spend time away from the library if they did more renovation because it’ll get so loud and cramped again,” Warren said.

The idea of having a more modern section and a separate older section isn’t a reason to jump back in with more construction, Warren added.

For others, the idea of moving forward with more construction on the library is very exciting.

Katy Rosser, a junior film, television and digital media major, said the new library is perfect for the student body because it provides more space for studying and multimedia activities.

“I think the library was due for an update as well as an extension,” Rosser said. “My favorite aspect of the renovated library would be the multiple study space options that are now available, whether it be in a private reserved room or in any of the more open study areas.”

Even though parts of the library have an older look now, they can still be a great, quiet place to study, Rosser said.

“My favorite part of the library as a whole would be the middle section that hasn’t been updated, it works well as the quiet study space that it is now and it even adds a historic feel to the building,” Rosser said.

The older wing of the library will feature new furniture and similar seating styles as the new wing of the library once it is renovated, Koelker said. It’s not yet clear when any new construction would begin.

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