Zondervan Library underwent changes over the summer to better accommodate students.
Some of these updates included: widening aisles, weeding out books, creating more study space and introducing self-checkout.
“Our Assistant Director Lana Wilson and I, we have talked at the end of this project, we will have touched every individual (book) and made a ‘keep or don’t keep’ decision,” Director of Zondervan Library Shannon Eaves said. “And then also by the end we probably will have shifted every single book.”
The library shelving was rearranged to create more space for the students. The aisles are wider, ADA-compliant, safer and easier to walk through.
“And so our study rooms are always full,” Eaves said. “So we took down more shelving and we're going to add more tables. So, hopefully, we have more places for students to sit.”
The library staff decided what things were worth preserving and things that needed to be altered. They wanted current information, “weeding out” the books that no longer were up to date or in bad shape.
Eaves said they recycled and sold books that had duplicates or that hadn’t been used in 20 to 30 years.
“When we go through the sciences and we have science textbooks from the 1950s — we don't need that,” Eaves said. “That's actually irresponsible for us to keep on our shelves, to keep offering bad information.”
She hoped fewer shelves and additional seating would be more inviting for students to go into the library.
Freshman Ellie King worked in the library over the summer and helped install some of the new updates. She moved books, tore down old and rickety bookshelves and built new ones.
“I feel confident that the bookshelves are better,” King said. “Just more secure and more stable.”
Once they removed outdated materials, she said it allowed them to remove shelves and shift books around with the new space.
King loved the sense of accomplishment after she saw the end result of her projects. All of this hard work reminded King that “big problems can be handled one task at a time.”
Senior Kelsey Denison worked in the library for two years. She viewed the changes with a positive outlook.
“I know last year, we kind of had a survey,” Denison said. “We had a whiteboard there for students to give feedback of ‘What do you want to see at the library?’ and a lot of it was more study spaces.”
Denison said change is exciting and scary but it also offers an opportunity for growth.