Library Changes Completed


Renovation projects recently completed at Olson Library have enhanced customer service and provided much-needed aesthetic improvements.


The reference and circulation areas have merged into a public services desk. Identical modular furniture purchased at the same time for both areas was integrated into one unit. Darlene Walch (Academic Information Services) said Olson Library began cross-training students last year in preparation for the change.


“It’s more effective and efficient from a service standpoint,” she said. “A person walking into the library doesn’t need to decide which direction to go or who to talk with. They can approach the services desk, ask a question and we figure out who needs to field it. The tiers of service range from basic questions of where things are to complex reference assistance. In our environment, it made sense to combine the two functions. The desk looks great and it has rejuvenated the staff.”


New lobby furniture has created a more pleasant entry. Walch said the previous furniture came from residence hall lobbies and showed serious signs of age and wear, including a love seat cushion that had deflated as if it were punctured with a pin.


The library’s printers have been repositioned on new tables. Room 229 on the main floor, where children’s literature classes meet periodically, has been totally rehabbed.


“That room was awful,” Walch said. “The carpet had duct tape on it. We moved everything out, redid the carpet and lighting, put in new tables, created ADA space between the stacks and repositioned the shelves so the lighting hits them better.”


Olson Library just completed the first year of its rolling five-year strategic plan, patterned after the university-wide Road Map to 2015. Walch said the plan includes the following five components identified in David Lewis’ “A Strategy for Academic Libraries in the First Quarter of the 21st Century”: complete the migration from print to electronic collections; retire legacy print collections; redevelop library space; reposition library and information tools, resources and expertise; and migrate the focus of collections from purchasing materials to curating content. Lewis is dean of the university library at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis


“We’re still finishing off the last renovation details,” said Walch. “The next step will be merging Instructional Media Services and Instructional Technology into Instructional Design and Technology. We will complete that by January.”



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Updated: November 3, 2010

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