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Leonard H. Axe Library getting its 1st floor renovated. Several new additions and changes are expected to happen once the work ends. Salehin Mahbub photo-editor

Axe Library continues renovations

The renovations at the Axe Library are in full swing and students can hope to see the finished product soon. 

This is the fourth year of renovations to the library and the new additions will include an open floor design, study rooms, changes to the Axe Grind Coffee Shop, new service points, and dedicated tutoring spaces. A new entrance will also be added on the east side of the building so instead of having to walk around the parking lot behind the library, students and staff will be able to enter through the new east entrance. Phase four of the renovations began in early June and will not be finished until late September.  

New tutoring spaces and other spaces for students to occupy are in the works and Randy Roberts, dean of library sciences, hopes to see students and departments around campus utilize those spaces.  

“Outside of the Student Success and Writing Center, if you remember where that is in the library, we are creating some areas there along with some flexible classroom space that we will be trying to encourage more official tutoring sort of led by departments, but encouraging them to use the space,” Roberts said. “But then we also know that a lot of times student study groups get together kind of organically on their own and so with our new furniture and some of the new spaces, we’re wanting to encourage both of those kinds of activities here in the library. So, in the whole of the first floor, in addition to changes to our classroom space on the first floor, the whole coffee bar area, the Axe Grind, is completely being remodeled as well. In fact, they are actually installing a lot of the cabinetry for that today (Tuesday, Oct. 2). Then, we are also, throughout the whole of the first floor, not only new spaces but we have a lot of new furniture. Furniture of very different types, different kinds of seating, a good variety I think that will encourage students to be able to find someplace, something that’s comfortable and something that fits however they want to use the space.”  

Employees of Axe Library were relocated during the summer and will remain relocated until the construction is finished.  

“They’ve (the employees) been doing great,” Roberts said. “It’s been a challenge and I do want all of… the students… to know we appreciate how accommodating they have been. It is very difficult for students to find their way into the library with the changes to the entrances and so on and then we’ve had a lot of students meeting in here for classes with Gorilla Gateway and different things but we do appreciate very much the students and how accommodating and understanding they have been as we’ve started of this semester with all these changes. I do appreciate my staff and the faculty here in the library as well who have done an excellent job of being relocated and still trying to provide all the services that we can for students.” 

The opening of the library is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 2 p.m.  

“We are looking at a little reception… that’s just to sort of thank everybody that worked on the project, welcome everybody in to visit the space, and maybe have a few comments from faculty and students that use the library about the new space and what it means to them,” Roberts said. “So, we are excited about that and want to welcome everybody over for that…”  

Roberts hopes to plan other events to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the library which is in October.  

“…The library opened as Axe Library in October of 1979, so this is going to concur… with our 40th anniversary as the library on campus so we’re excited about that,” Roberts said. “We’re hoping to plan some other events kind of a little bit more around the anniversary sometime later in the year.”

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