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John Archer Library receives overhaul before school year

Such a special, little new study space for some special, little students/ Brett Nielsen
Such a special, little new study space for some special, little students/ Brett Nielsen

U of R library trying to meet more student needs

Changes have come to the University of Regina’s Archer Library, and they have been coming for the past couple of years.

Last spring, the library was reconfigured, moving a large collection of micro-materials up to the sixth floor from the main floor.  This allowed for 12 new tables and seven lounge chairs on the main floor. Colleen Murphy, acting university librarian, says this space will receive even more changes.

“We will be putting in extra electrical/data lines in this area before the start of fall semester.  We consider the current configuration of chairs/tables in this area as temporary and hope to be able to make something a bit less ‘cafeteria-like’ in the future. We will be getting updated printers/copiers on the main floor. They will be significantly faster and will all be located in one spot to make it more convenient for students. Our main focus throughout the most recent renovations was on improving the student experience and on improving service delivery.”

Last summer, the library freed up two other spaces on the main floor.

“One was a result of relocating the reference collection stacks. This opened up a larger space for study that includes nine tables.”

The result has been a very open main floor with a large amount study spaces and computer stations.

Later changes have included reconfiguring the library’s noise zones.

“We made the fifth floor entirely ‘silent’, the third and fourth ‘low volume,’ and the main floor almost all ‘green’ or ‘normal’ volume.’”

Further changes include cosmetic updates to the study rooms — painting, installing chair rails and installing large whiteboards.

Murphy went on to explain that the library is looking for ways to provide more infrastructure around the library.

“We were able to work with URSU to get extended coffee hours during the fall semester exam time.  We are looking into ways of providing coffee, snacks, stress relief, etc. during exam time this fall semester and potentially during our evening hours (11 p.m.) during the semester when there is nothing open on campus.”

The library also looks forward to “[continuing] to build a relationship with URSU. Finding out what the students really want is key to being able to build the type of library they need.”

Student use of the library has gone up tremendously and Murphy noted that it was a factor in opening the discussion up to the wider student community.

“We made changes based on the model used in other universities and use of the library has gone up a significant amount. We hope to continue the trend by implementing more of the ideas students want.”

Murphy closed with a statement detailing the library’s recognition of the variety of student needs in a university.

“The [John Archer] Library recognizes that student experience is key and that there are many different types of student needs, ranging from silent study to group work. We are continually trying to provide a variety of spaces to meet these diverse needs.”

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