Downtown library staff hoped you wouldn't notice their renovations. However, much-needed construction that was supposed to be done over the summer didn't start until shortly before classes resumed, with the result that noise, dust and detours are plaguing staff and users at the busiest time of the year.
William Curran, Director of Libraries, is deeply concerned about the delay, and about the space crunch that is squeezing the downtown Webster Library only seven years after it was built.
When the J.W. McConnell Building was conceived, the second, third, fourth and fifth floors were meant for the library, but by the time the library was opened in 1992, the fifth floor was needed -- temporarily, it was thought -- for academic offices and meeting-rooms.
Now, with an increase in academic activity on the downtown campus, the library's takeover of the fifth floor still hasn't happened. Meanwhile, the library collection and need for equipment continue to grow.
The current renovations to the west side of the atrium on the second and third floors will provide more shelf and seating space, orientation rooms to teach effective use of the library, and a circulation desk nearer the exit to eliminate the need for a security guard most of the time.
"The sound of construction in the Webster Library will be silenced in November," Curran said. "For the convenience of our students, the renovation project will be on hold during the winter term.
"In the meanwhile, we apologize for the inconvenience. This was not planned to cause such disruption. Nonetheless, it is an essential project, and we are asking our users to bear in mind the benefits to be derived when the project is completed."