A ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for University faculty and staff will celebrate the completion of major renovations to the third and fourth floors of Carlson Library. The event will take place Thursday, Aug. 18, from 3 to 5 p.m. on the third floor of the library.
President Sharon L. Gaber and Provost Andrew Hsu will provide opening remarks.
“We hope faculty and staff will use this opportunity to see the amazing transformation that has happened in the library,” said Barbara Floyd, interim director of University Libraries. “We think the University community will be pleased with the results.”
The $3 million renovation, funded by state capital investment funds, includes the creation of more than 20 new group study rooms on the floors.
“There is a real demand by students for these spaces,” said David Remaklus, director of library operations. “These are important spaces for students to collaborate on projects and work together in study teams.”
The renovations include larger rooms that can fit six to eight persons as well as smaller rooms for two to three students.
Also included are rooms with study carrels for individual quiet study. All of the spaces provide numerous outlets for using and charging technological devices.
The walls also have been painted, carpeting has been replaced, and new ceilings and lighting installed.
During renovations, books and journals located on these floors were wrapped and protected from the dirt and debris created during construction. The materials were inaccessible during the summer, but patrons were accommodated by borrowing needed books through OhioLINK, Floyd said.
The renovations required shifting some 170,000 journals and government documents on the third floor from one side of the floor to the other. Library faculty and staff, with help from the maintenance staff, completed the move in a little over a week.
“Moving the collection was an incredibly difficult job, but everyone pitched in, and we finished it in record time,” Remaklus said.
Both the book and journal collection located on the two floors will be accessible again.
The University community is invited to stop over during the open house for refreshments and to see the transformed space. Library faculty and staff will be available to answer questions and provide tours of the new spaces.
Floyd said additional events for students are planned for the first two weeks of the semester. These events will include raffles for prizes, and a contest for students to post a “shelfie” with their favorite library book or their favorite new study space. The student whose photo gets the most likes on social media will receive a prize. The theme for the student events is “Carlson Library: Extreme Makeover Edition. Come check us out.”
One aspect of the library’s third floor has not changed, and will look familiar to everyone who has visited the library since it opened in 1973 — the large Rand McNally globe. The globe, which has been on the third floor for the past six years, has a new place of prominence. It also will be restored during fall semester with new paint, and the motor that spins the globe will be repaired.
“University Libraries provides UT faculty and students with resources literally from around the world. We see the globe as a way to reinforce this idea,” Floyd said.
The globe originally was purchased and installed on the first floor of the library near a portrait of Dr. William Carlson, who was a geographer. It is one of only a few such large globes that were built, and an even fewer number still exist today, Floyd said.
Renovations to the library are not complete with the work on the third and fourth floors, however. The next phase will begin in December with changes to the first floor, completion of work on the second floor, and the installation of a glass wall on the east side of the library.
Questions about the renovations can be directed to Remaklus at 419.530.4030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.