Sharpening the Axe
Bunnell’s vision for a better library
Bartholomew Klick | Copy Editor
David Bunnell has a vision for the Axe Library that goes beyond archival sciences and vast collections of books. One change he’s hoping to make would reopen the Axe Grind, the coffee shop on the first floor, whose abandoned counters still sit near the study tables.
Bunnell, dean of library services, says he doesn’t want to duplicate services found across the road at the Overman Student Center, but this won’t stop him from finding something to do with the space.
“We want something unique that you can’t get anywhere else,” Bunnell said. He stressed that none of his ideas for renovating the library or reopening the Axe Grind are official yet, but he says that he’s looking closely at UMKC’s recent renovation of its own library, which included white board tables that students could write on with dry-erase markers. He also says that he wants the study area near the first floor to have more comfortable furniture, with a “love seat and comfy chairs.”
“We want it to be more accessible,” Bunnell said.
If the Axe Grind part of the library gets renovated and reopened, Bunnell says it won’t be for library revenue, but rather to attract more students.
This is part of a larger vision that Bunnell has for transforming the library into an “information commons,” which he defines as a student-friendly area with access to the recently improved wi-fi, as well as the library databases and books.
Aside from improving the wi-fi and eliminating the library’s once-pesky dead spots, Bunnell says the library has recently acquired 10 netbooks for the library’s classroom, which are brought out when a very large class visits. He’s also hoping to get tablets that students could use while in the library.
Longer term plans, which Bunnell says could take several years to realize, include using the old bookstore area to house the writing tutors.
Bunnell couldn’t give a timetable because he says he’s “hoping for continuous improvement over the semester.”
“We’re working off of a plan and getting things done as we can afford them,” Bunnell said.
Part of Bunnell’s plan to afford these improvements involves a recruitment drive, done in part at tailgate parties during PSU home games, for the Friends of the Pittsburg State University Libraries group, which among other things includes, according to its web space on the PSU website, “Encouraging gifts, endowments, collections and memorials to Library Services.”
“When you have an active group like that, it really helps the students,” Bunnell said.