Seeking Your Opinion on Ekstrom Renovation

By Maurini Strub

It’s been over a year since the east wing of the 1st floor of Ekstrom Library was renovated.  We hope that during this time you’ve enjoyed using the space, and maybe discovered a new favorite spot.

Before the renovation, we collected feedback on your needs, desires and difficulties, and that data helped inform the design of the space. Design solutions include a clearly identified, “one-stop shopping” service desk; enhanced technology support and printing services; an intuitive approach to the layout of services and spaces; and a mixture of learning and study spaces.DSC_0045

Assessing how well we met our goals is the focus of a survey we’ll be conducting through April 25.  As you walk through the first floor-east, you’ll see some questionnaires, and a large red box as you enter the east lobby (see photos).

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The survey seeks to discover your satisfaction with these improved learning spaces, how these spaces have impacted your success at UofL, your experience using our services, and the value of collocating some of our primary services. Concurrently, we’ll conduct periodic observations and review collections usage data.

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We’d love to hear about your experience in these new spaces. Please feel free to complete this very short questionnaire or fill out the paper one and leave it in the red box in the lobby!


First Floor Renovations Update

by Dean Fox

We continue to make great strides in several areas including implementation of Worldshare Management System (WMS), bringing up our new institutional repository, and in finalizing plans for the 1st floor East Ekstrom renovation. In this blog, I’m going to focus on our Ekstrom 1E progress.

We have just signed off on the architectural plans for the space. Significant accomplishments will include:

  • Constructing a new east side combined services desk
  • Moving the Writing Center to the first floor with other student support services
  • Consolidating Ekstrom reference/information literacy personnel into one location
  • Opening up wall space/barriers to allow more natural light into the space
  • Significantly enhancing group and individual study spaces including new group study rooms
  • Updating and refreshing the space to tie it more closely with the newer west wing

These changes were incorporated to meet comments from users and library staff about increasing user seating, providing better zoning between group and individual spaces, and improving lighting, way finding, and building aesthetics.

I’m including several images so you can see the proposed floor layout as well as several 3-D renderings of how the new spaces will look. These represent some exciting changes to how our users will interact with the first floor spaces and how these spaces can reflect what modern research libraries can and should be.

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Next steps for the physical spaces include final furniture selection and going out to bid for the demolition/construction phase.

In addition to the physical updates, we continue making progress on updating our service model and staffing plans for the new spaces. While these plans are still being finalized, they include meeting the goal of providing a consistent user experience in services and staffing at both the new east desk and the existing west desk. They also include revising some of our existing positions to reflect departmental mergers and service consolidations. We expect to begin implementing some of these service/position changes during the remainder of the spring semester.