Greetings and welcome to the Winter edition of Notes from the Stacks. As the Louisville Spring brings its familiar rains and potential flooding, our libraries remain comfortable, well-lighted spaces, conducive to hunkering down to study and research. I welcome you to come visit and enjoy them yourselves!
In the interests of making our libraries even more conducive to student success, we are excited about Ekstrom Library’s third floor renovation, now in its final preparation and planning stage, with hammers scheduled to swing in May after classes end.
The project will provide modernized study space, a new Reading Room, a dedicated graduate student study area and better lighting and wayfinding for students in need of more study areas on campus. Planned for several years, the project received a $500,000 grant by University Administration as part of its student initiatives program, and is heartily endorsed by the Student Government Association. It is scheduled for completion by September 2019.
As we continue to emphasize, the reason for the renovation is clear: enrollment is predicted to grow in the coming years and it is crucial that we support a larger population with a high-quality library experience. Because our footprint and square footage will not grow, we need to make the best use of the space we have. We want to provide students with upgraded study areas and seating so they are supported during times when they really need space in the library. Raising the seat-to-student ratio in our libraries helps UofL’s competitive edge in recruiting new students and retaining current ones.
A large component of the renovation is a proposed Jewish Studies Reading Room in space formerly occupied by the Writing Center. We are currently working with the UofL Jewish Studies program and the local Jewish community of Louisville to raise necessary funds for this project, which will serve to inspire current and future Jewish scholars and recognize this important constituency on campus. Please reach out to Matt Wyatt if you’d like more information on how to help with this effort.
To provide information to the University community and the public, we have created a website about the project. Please keep up with us through this portal and let us know your thoughts.