Renovations underway for Mulford Library

January 15, 2019 | News, UToday, Library
By Tyrel Linkhorn

Improvements are in the works for Mulford Library on The University of Toledo’s Health Science Campus.

Plans call for new floor coverings, replacing much of the existing furniture, and reorganizing the fifth floor to better take advantage of the building’s architecture.

“It’s actually a really beautiful space, it just needs a little TLC,” said Beau Case, dean of University Libraries. “There are large windows on each end of the fifth floor and a huge glass skylight overhead. We want to bring in more of that natural light.”

To accomplish that, the library will be removing the book stacks on the fifth floor and consolidating most of its print collections to the sixth floor. Crews also have begun removing all of the wooden carrel desks in favor of sleek, modern furniture, including adjustable-height desks — something Mulford Library Director Jolene Miller said many students have requested.

The fourth-floor entrance area also will be spruced up with new paint, flooring, and the addition of a featured titles section that will include board exam preparation materials, books on research and scholarly writing, and other heavily used titles.

“How people use libraries is changing,” Case said. “We recognize our medical students and others don’t rely on printed texts as much as they once did, which is part of the reason we’re moving the stacks off the fifth floor. But the library is still an important place for studying or taking a break between classes. These renovations will make Mulford a much more comfortable and usable space for the UT community.”

The work at Mulford follows a series of improvements at Carlson Library on Main Campus. Case said there was a 40 percent increase in usage after those renovations were completed.

“I’m most excited we’re going to be able to make the facility more professional and better-suited for our students,” Miller said. “Even if people aren’t checking out physical books, there’s something to be said for having a place where the expectation is ‘I can go in and do heavy reading, I can get really engrossed in thinking and writing and engaging with material.’”

The first step will be moving the books. The new flooring should be complete by February, with the new furniture coming over the next few months.

Case said they are scheduling the most disruptive work during low-usage periods to limit the impact to students.

“Our students on Health Science Campus require a quiet study environment, and we’re going to do our best to accommodate that,” Case said.

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