Ekstrom 1E Renovation

Pre-renovation photo

Pre-renovation photo

by Bob Fox, Dean of the University Libraries

You may be wondering what’s going on with the first floor of Ekstrom Library! It’s part of an overall plan to update and improve Ekstrom that has been ongoing for a few years. We’ve already upgraded spaces on the lower level in our Special Collections area and outside the Chao Auditorium. Last year, we updated one of our instructional labs and refreshed the fourth floor to create great quiet study spaces. Now, we’ve turned our attention to the older east side of the first floor (1E). We had been hearing comments from our users and staff that the way we offered services on the first floor didn’t always make sense and that the physical spaces were outdated and not set up the way our users need.

To learn more about how to update and change the spaces and our services, we conducted an in-depth six-month study using surveys, focus groups, town hall meetings, message boards, and observations. This study, as well as other information relating to the 1E project, is now available on our website at:


The website details things we have already accomplished as a result of the study and gives a timeline for our next steps. If you take a look at the site, you’ll notice that the collections moving around right now are just the first steps of many we will be undertaking to improve the spaces. We’ve already changed some services too so, for example, you can now check out items at both the east (Media) and west (Circulation) service desks. We’re also making organizational and staffing changes including rethinking some existing positions and creating new positions to address specific concerns we’ve heard and to enhance the user experience.

Over the next year, there will be some service disruptions, some noise, and some dust but in the end, we hope that the long-term improvements we see will be well worth the short-term troubles we’ll encounter.

Please continue to check the renovation website as we will update it throughout this exciting process.

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