Future of library to be discussed in focus groups

Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown

Focus groups with students will be held within the fall or spring semester to see what students would like the Hilton M. Briggs Library to look like in the upcoming years.

“Once we have the compact shelving, we will have new open floor space on the main level,” said David Gleim, dean of the library. “The meeting (on Oct. 21) was set to figure out what we want to do with that potentially empty space.”

Student focus groups are an effort by the library and university to get students’ opinions.

“We will really be reaching out to students to ask what they would like to see the library look like within the next five to 10 years,” Gleim said. “We want their input because they are the ones that use it.”

The Collegian and Students’ Association, as well as numerous other SDSU faculty and staff, were notified on Oct. 21 by an anonymous e-mail that the administration had plans to remodel the library.

The e-mail that was sent to The Collegian, titled “Briggs reduced by third,” read, “Apparently the plan is to build and locate offices with absolutely no connection to the library or library services along the inside perimeter of the library’s main level. Most importantly, this would eliminate all or most of the general study space and work area on the main level of the library.”

Gleim said that the e-mail held “misinformation” and that using the new space for office space was only one option they were considering.

“There is no set plan in place yet,” Gleim said.

Bob Otterson, executive assistant to the president, also denied any accusations of a concrete plan to renovate the library.

“The university is always looking at different buildings on campus to solve spacing issues,” said Otterson. “Recently the library has had the Honors College implemented into it, so there have been offices put in, but that is nothing new.

“It is possible that someday more library renovations could take place, but as of right now, there are no plans in action,” said Otterson.

Erika Novstrup, a senior business major, said she thinks the main level of the library gets used frequently.

“More study area is always a good thing,” said Novstrup. “I think it would be nice to have kind of a warm atmosphere to study in.”

The topic of renovating the main level of the library arose at the faculty meeting last week. The library intends on installing compact shelving systems in the basement, which would then remove the need for shelving on the main level.

Some of SDSU’s students shared their ideas on what would be a good use of the main level space.

“I know they need more computers at the library,” said Courtney Boom, a junior history major. “More tables for study areas would be nice too.”

Gleim said that the library is working on a new plan to find the best possible way to use the potential space.

“We may end up using that space to provide students with private study rooms that they can meet with groups in,” Gleim said. “That is something that would benefit students and their study needs.”

“I think that group rooms would be a good thing,” Boom said. “It can get frustrating when other people are trying to study and a group of three people come in and are talking in their normal voice.”

The e-mail notified the press and SA of a meeting occurring at 1 p.m in which Provost Laurie Nichols and President David L. Chicoine would be there discussing the topic.

Approximately eight senators arrived for the meeting, including SA President Matt Tollefson, but they were asked to leave because the meeting was never intended to be open to the public. It was for librarians only, as well as Nichols and Chicoine.

“As far as our office is concerned, we are still waiting to find out more about the library,” said Anthony Sutton, an SA senator at-large. “We look forward to working with the library and any administration regarding any and all plans there may be.”