Plans for library on the table
Self-check points, virtual browsing option and extra study space are proposed in order to give students better service at new library
Liberty University’s students have not yet seen all the changes happening on campus, because in the works are plans for a new library. The new library is still in the proposal concept stage in terms of scale and location, according to Dean of the Integrated Learning Resource Center Carl Merat.
“We have not yet reached the design stage yet,” Merat said.
Even though the design has not been decided, it is clear what is to be expected of the new building. According to Merat, students should expect the building to be a unique mixture of traditional and contemporary design. Also included is a mixture of technology, which will make the browsing-for-books routine a whole new experience to many.
“The building, which will replace the (current) Schilling building, will be potentially four floors,” Merat said. “It will have atrium space and natural light.”
The building will include flexible learning and studying spaces in most floors, but the idea is that the higher a person goes, the quieter the floors will be. Plans also include a Writing Center, Curriculum Library, Reference and Research section, Graduate and Faculty Commons and Honors offices. However, most of the space will be dedicated to undergraduate students.
The customer service is also expected to be of a new, high standard because of the reduction of multiple, large desks. There will also be an integrated service point with mobile service and self-check points located in different parts of the library. Another helpful feature will be the virtual browse aspect of the LUCAS catalog, where you can find whatever you are looking for in mere seconds instead of having to go down aisle after aisle to find a single book.
Perhaps the most exciting feature of all will be the automated storage and retrieval system, otherwise known as “book retrieval robot,” where access to documents and books will be simplified. With universities such as Valparaiso, University of Chicago, Colgate, North Carolina State and even Sweet Briar College here in Lynchburg embracing the use of the robot, it is sure to become an instant hit with Liberty’s student body. The new library is also estimated to hold 450,000 volumes of print collection, up from the 275,000 volumes currently in the library.
Everything is already set in motion for a library change, thanks to a $280,000 book budget approval by Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr.
“I really cannot wait to see what the new library will look like and maybe then I will be stopping by more,” senior Rahab Kamau said.
The concept stage is estimated to take between seven to nine months, but the earliest estimate is 2013, Merat said.