The University of Toledo’s Carlson Library has been in various states of construction since 2010, which is longer than a normal student’s typical time at the university. On Oct. 12, the construction officially came to a close with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by Beau Case, dean of libraries, and Sharon Gaber, university president.
The library construction cost around $3 million for these last stages of construction, which included the first, second and third floors. Major changes included the new glass wall on the east side of the building, a second floor that opens to the first and new study rooms and carrels.
For our full report on the construction for the library, follow this link https://www.independentcollegian.com/single-post/2017/08/30/Carlson-Library-welcomes-students-with-a-brand-new-look
Gaber and Case, along with Jimmy Russell, Student Government president, and Jason Toth, associate vice president for facilities and construction, spoke during the official library opening.
The ceremonial ribbon was cut on UT’s Founder Day, which this year is the university’s 145th birthday, and the first annual Day of Giving. Gaber spoke about the changes made in one of the university’s most important locations.
“… where new ideas are conceived, where research takes flight and where diverse ideas are freely exchanged,” Gaber said. “Amenities like group study rooms, individual carrels, more places to use computers and modern furniture — modern, I like that, and modern furniture — and all of these new features will ensure that Carlson Library will continue attracting students through its doors. And, I have to say, my favorite addition to the building is this new glass wall, which lets in so much natural light and really brightens up the space.”
Gaber said that over the summer she would walk into the library to see the changes as they would occur and was happy to see students studying and enjoying the sunlight and air conditioning.
“It’s important that this is a place that students want to be because library services are fundamental to student success,” Gaber said. “To the students who are here today, despite Google and other search engines and mobile apps, when it comes to research and discovering new knowledge, UT’s librarians are unsurpassed in providing direct, personalized assistance. There’s still no app that will compete with that.”
Both Gaber and Case thanked Barbara Floyd, former interim dean of libraries and university archivist, who recently retired after 35 years at the university. Floyd was one of the leaders who pushed for the library’s renovation and changes, according to Case.
“If you look around you, this space doesn’t really look like a traditional library,” Case said, “but it really is. University libraries still do everything we have always done. We have books, manuscripts, archives… we also have electronic books and journals and databases. We have faculty staff and experts that curate collections and connect people to resources. We will always be a place where people discover and learn.”
Libraries are places of study, according to Case. The renovation has introduced over a dozen of different styles of seating. For example, the second floor holds “European train car seating” and “dining seating,” as Case affectionately calls them. The second floor has always been designated the noisy floor, where students are encouraged to collaborate.
“I have boasted, and I will continue to boast, that no other university library in the world offers as much group study space as we do in Carlson,” Case said.
Even though the final vision came from the university, the original idea came from students. Student opinions created the need for collaborative space and group study rooms. Case said they will always reach out to students for their opinions.
“One of the chief complaints I heard back when I was a freshman was, ‘I wish our library was a little nicer,’ and ‘I wish we had some better study spaces here on campus,’” Russell said. “Well, after touring these facilities, I’m excited to say I think those students’ concerns have been met here at the university.
Our library is now a beautiful place that anybody can go and study and has all the opportunity in the world for group study.”