A wide of array of features will be found in the new Chalmers Library. A monthly newsletter started in October by Research and Instruction Director Julia Warga shines a spotlight on the library’s new features.
Chalmers will house multiple offices that are currently scattered across campus. Students will find the Helpline, Circulation Desk and research services on the first floor of the library. The second floor will house Student Accessibility and Support Services (SASS), the Writing Center, Academic Advising, the Office of the Registrar and the Career Development Office (CDO).
“It will be a beautiful building,” said Amy Badertscher, library director and associate vice president of Library and Information Services (LBIS). “A huge atrium, artwork, the circulation desk on one side, the help desk in the front with printers—that’ll all be on the Middle Path side where you walk in.”
Compared to the previous library, students will find plenty of space to study.
“One of the things that we didn’t have more of in the old Olin-Chalmers Library are group study rooms,” Badertscher said. “There will be around 25 small- to medium-sized group study rooms. A lot of four-person rooms, some six-[person], some eight-[person] rooms.”
The lower levels will also have lockers for student use. Of the estimated 200 lockers, some will be reserved for seniors working on honors projects. The rest will be available for use by any student throughout the day.
Chalmers will also house multiple classrooms. One immersive classroom planned for the third floor will have grid piping on the ceiling, allowing for projectors to move at almost any angle and project onto all four walls. Even standard classrooms will be equipped with innovative technology, such as two-way speaker systems allowing for video conferencing with featured speakers. High-powered Apple computers will be available in a digital collaboration studio. A data visualization wall made up of multiple screens will allow students to present information on a grand scale. There will be two rooms for video editing and podcasting, as well as a One Button studio.
“You bring your flash drive, plug it in, turn on a button, and a student can record themselves practicing a presentation or a faculty member can record a lecture. When you’re done, it’s on your flash drive,” Badertscher said.
The fourth floor will have offices and research space. There will be two reading rooms on this floor: one overlooking Horvitz Hall and the other overlooking Peirce Dining Hall.
The library will also be decorated with the furniture that was voted on by students earlier this semester. “Student opinion had a huge impact on what we decided for the building,” Baderscher said.
As of now, Chalmers Library is scheduled to open in the spring semester of 2021.