Key Changes to Library Structure This Semester

Junior Alexandra Poff studies at a private table in the library.

Junior Alexandra Poff studies at a private table in the library.

With the fall semester fully underway, Eastern Mennonite University students of all disciplines find themselves spending time in Hartzler library whether for classes, studying, group projects or even the occasional pleasure read. New and returning students are greeted by the smiling faces of staff and work-study students. To returning students though, while smiling faces remain, some things have changed.

In spring 2013 semester, the library sent out a survey to staff, faculty, and students to evaluate the library and suggest changes. An added website and decorative new poster board within the library provide information regarding suggested changes, and which of those suggestions were implemented.

The website details responses to students on suggested improvements such as changes in the layout of the library itself. “We agreed that we needed more gathering spaces, and that it was time for a facelift of the main floor.”

In the group study area stands a sign that highlights numerous additions and changes such as an expanded research database, additional artwork, and the “walling-in” of the Blue Room, which makes available additional study and class space.

The library has also purchased a variety of games which are now available for check out. Available games include Dutch-Blitz, Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, and even Twister.

During the summer, the library staff moved its “Books for Fun” section to a more visible location.

Phillip T. Yoder, Senior, was excited to hear about the changes saying, “The library has been a home for many of us over the years and it’s great to see the changes have allowed this place to be a good location to get work done.”

This past Tuesday, the library implemented a coffee station. The project has started as a pilot program selling Common Grounds house blend coffee in carafes for $1.25 per cup.

If the pilot program performs well the program will expand in the future. Library work-study student Jeni Heishman, Junior, commented, “I think it will be good for people who like coffee.”

Some changes, such as the addition of a lower floor, or renovations to the library, may have to wait a few years.

Even so, students like First-year Sara Stoltzfus seem confident the newly implemented changes will make a trip to the library, “easier on students and more convenient.”

-Jacob Lester, Copy Editor; photo credit,  Alicia Calkins

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