By Emma Way
Elm Staff Writer
The sounds of hammering, power washing, and fire alarms resonating across campus do not exactly create the most welcoming environment for students and professors eager to gain access to the newly renovated Miller Library. Its opening was highly anticipated, but there is some speculation that it may have happened too soon.
The new library is still working out the kinks. The infrastructure has been rebuilt, but library staff and students are now struggling to adapt to the new systems and ongoing construction.
Head of the Miller Library Ruth Shoge said, “I understand their point of view, but they don’t realize that when you’re moving into a new building there’s a lot to test. The only way to truly test it to see if it works is with people.”
Shoge stands by the opening of the library, but agrees with students that it was not completely ready and felt rushed in opening.
Many students were expecting the café to open at the same as the library, so many were disappointed to find that in the place of a café there was instead a work in progress with distracting construction noises. But students realize that it was important to get the library up and running as soon as possible, with or without the café.
“We needed a library more than we needed a café,” said junior Baker Gerwig.
The fact that the café will be under construction indefinitely means increased distraction for students attempting to work.
“I don’t think the library was ready to be opened because the café isn’t ready and the construction noise is distracting,” said junior Emily Hall.
Along with the café construction, students are burdened with the sound of power washing. The construction staff power washing the windows where students are trying to study is a huge distraction. When power washing the front of Miller Library the workers had to stop whenever a student approached the door, which affected their productivity.
The continued construction and renovations has not stopped students from studying and getting their work done. Most students seem to be pleased to have a functioning library available again.
Freshman Anna Windle said, “I think for the purpose of using computers and doing homework the library was ready to be opened even though some parts are still not done.”
Senior Ryan Bankert said, “I do think it was worth opening when they did. Reading with hammering in the background is a little difficult, but overall my productivity has doubled since we’ve had a library again.”
Continuation of services was the main goal of the Miller Library throughout the renovation process, and Shoge feels as though there has never been a gap in providing services.
“We certainly apologize for the inconvenience, but unfortunately these are some of the natural consequences of moving into a relatively new building,” she said.
One issue that has been a concern is the sounding of fire alarms due to residual construction dust. Because of construction work on the infrastructure of the building, dust gathered in the elevator shafts and caused a leak in the seal of the elevator piston, which has triggered the fire alarms.
Director of Physical Plant Reid Raudenbush said, “The gasket has been scheduled for replacement by the elevator company and the library was inspected by the State Fire Marshall and safely reopened.”
While having the library “here, there, and everywhere” may not have been as functional as having the physical library, once the space is finally complete, students and faculty will be able to settle back into the new space, fully able to enjoy the new geothermal climate system and upgrades that the library has received during its near six month long renovation.