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Senate hears library presentation, passes hall election resolutions

| Thursday, December 1, 2016

During Wednesday night’s Senate meeting, University librarian Diane Walker and sociology librarian Jessica Kayongo presented on past, present and future renovations of Hesburgh Library.

The librarians showed the senators before-and-after pictures as well as design simulations and drawings of the sections of the library that have not been renovated yet.

“We have been renovating in stages,” Walker said. “We have completed the entrance gallery, Level 10, Level 4 and the new Scholars Lounge.”

The Scholars Lounge was opened for the first time on Wednesday and quickly filled, Walker said.

“People have already discovered it,” Walker said. “I encourage you all to take a look at it early, before it fills up again tomorrow.”

The new space is intended to be an open study space, with no guarantees of quiet, Walker said.

“You won’t find another area like it anywhere on campus,” she said.

The 10th floor has gained new seating and a reading room, while the fourth floor has become library staff work space. The main concourse is also complete.

The next big development, coming in December or January, will be the completion of the east wall of the concourse.

“There is a very deliberate attempt to make the concourse a good first impression for people coming through in student tours, football games, everything,” Kayongo said.

Walker said the new designs have included more natural light. Kayongo said LED lighting also brightens spaces and is more energy efficient.

Future plans for the library, although already designed, will be implemented in pieces in order to keep the library open for use. Technology Row is a section which will contain the Center for Digital Scholarship, other specialized computers and equipment and a work spaces for the subject librarians.

Additionally, there is a new teaching and collaboration hub, designed to house instruction spaces, group study spaces, mobile chairs and tables and hosting spaces for campus partners.

“More happens in the library than just people checking books in and out,” Kayongo said.

A grand reading room with rows of study tables will also be added to act as a “traditional heads down, quiet study space,” Kayongo said. The area will be where the fishbowl currently sits and will include the floor above.

Other additions include a fireplace and a museum-quality gallery to showcase the Special Collections and Archives, along with more spaces for lectures and other audience events.

“We are going to make this into a 21st century library,” Walker said.

After praising the progress made in the Library renovations, the Senate passed several resolutions regarding hall elections. One added the phrase “social media” to a previous resolution on how to campaign appropriately online in student elections.

Another resolution standardized the formation of candidate slates. A third required campaign groups to use Google Groups for their activities and prohibited the use of Listservs and other University services for non-official business.

Another resolution stated that votes to abstain would not be counted in the percentages that determine who wins a hall election. There will still be there option to vote “abstain” and express individual opinion, but abstentions will not influence the outcome of the election.

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