University plans to renovate Nash Library

In the coming months, university leaders, library associates and several student committee members will begin to plan renovations to Gannon University’s Nash Library.

The committee sent out several surveys to faculty and students over the past year and received nearly 300 responses. The amount of survey results was “pretty gratifying,” according to Ken Brundage, library director. The survey questions included several different variables regarding what changes should be made to the library.

“We’re trying to get a general feel for the kinds of spaces and services the Gannon community would be looking for in a revitalized facility,” Brundage said.

The survey results turned up various responses, but surveyors indicated the most prominent necessity in a new library space is peace and quiet. However, the need for more group study rooms also ranked high on the list.

The current space has several private study areas, but also many wide-open areas. When these open areas become crowded, students often scurry for the group study rooms to seek quiet. This obviously creates a problem over which spaces are being used properly.

“Right now, the way the building was constructed and the way the building is set up, we have students trying to use the same spaces for those two types of activities,” Brundage said. “In a new modernized library, we need to create very separate and distinct areas.”

Nash Library originally opened in 1973, and according to Brundage, the facility is due for a major overhaul.

“There has never been a full-blown, top-to-bottom modernization of the facility,” Brundage said. “And it’s starting to show its age.”

The most noticeable signs of age come from the library’s look, most notably its bright carpets and old-fashioned furniture. Sophomore SGA representative Monica Scarsella added that the appearance of the library is just one of several changes being discussed. Scarsella is one if the student representatives on the library renovation committee.

Brundage offered several hints as to what services will be available in the new library, including bringing back student tutoring and installing a Gannon ITS presence.

“If we expand the technology that’s available here in the library, it would be nice to have some hardware and software support available to students as they’re using it,” Brundage said.

Scarsella also confirmed the campus-wide interest in a Nash Library coffee shop, but instead of reaching out to national corporations such as Starbucks or Tim Horton’s, the new library might partner with the current coffee shop located outside the International Student Office.

“We really think students could get a lot of use out of it and really appreciate it,” said Scarsella. Scarsella said she has been contacted by the ISO and “they had been looking for somewhere to move from Zurn.”

All of these considerations are on the table in the library’s plans for renovation.

Brundage said that several members of the renovation committee will visit other colleges whose libraries have recently undergone renovations, including Oberlin College and Allegheny College.

According to Brundage, in the next few months the committee will meet with an architecture firm and begin laying out plans in order to “give people some idea of what the space could look like.”

Both Brundage and Scarsella stressed that although the initial survey process may be over, student input is still necessary in this long process of planning and renovating the library. “Not only do we want student input, we need it,” Brundage said.

The process of orchestrating Nash’s first major renovations has everyone on the renovation committee excited, including the library director.

“There’s an awful lot of potential here,” Brundage said. “There’s a lot of exciting possibilities, and we certainly want to get the students excited about it too.”

DAN KUBACKI

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