Campus News

August 22, 2011

Library upgrades enhance learning opportunities

Renovations at the Goizueta Business library include open glass shelves as well as banquette seating.

By Maureen McGavin

It's been a busier-than-usual summer at the Emory Libraries. Aside from routine upgrades such as new carpeting in high-traffic areas and new main-entrance turnstiles with prox-card access (you can leave your ID in your wallet and just touch the magnetic strip to the reader), here's the short list of the more significant projects completed – or nearing completion – at the Emory Libraries.

Business library renovation

The renovation of the Goizueta Business Library was the highest priority project this summer for Emory Libraries. The project, which began July 1, should be finished by the start of fall semester. The business library's previously open space now has a glass wall in an L-shape around the perimeter near Woodruff Library's main service desk, with an open entryway instead of doors near the stairway to Level 1. Banquette seating follows the glass wall near the Smartboard area, augmented with tables on wheels that can be pulled together for group study. The reference desk/consultation area has moved to the center of the business library.

New books are displayed prominently on open glass shelving, installed near the business library's main entry, so students can peruse them. The library didn't want to give up the new business book and career book display, formerly set up on tables just outside the business library's perimeter.

"It's very popular," says Susan Klopper, the business library's director.

The project was funded 100 percent by the Goizueta Business School. For more information on the library and its rotation of new business books visit

Research commons

Construction of the new Research Commons on the third floor of the library is expected to be completed by fall break. Conceived as a hub for research that embraces technology, the Research Commons will be a place where scholars collaborate with technologists, librarians and other researchers.

The Digital Scholarship Commons (DiSC), developed with a two-year, $695,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation, will be a full-time resident of the Research Commons and will work with scholars to develop ideas and help coordinate support for digital scholarship in the library.

Smart classrooms

ECIT 217, the distance learning and videoconferencing classroom, is getting an upgraded system that includes high definition-capable equipment. This is particularly useful for those from the school of public health or the medical school who are working on grants and need to exchange high-resolution images with their collaborators at other schools, says ECIT Director Wayne Morse, director of Emory's Center for Interactive Teaching.

In addition, there are two new 70-inch LCD monitors with touch screens at the front of the room, and new furniture more conducive to allowing an entire class of students to equally participate in distance learning, rather than just a small subset of the class sitting at a main table. The new system will be part of a class bringing an instructor from England together with a faculty member from the College to co-teach a course on Shakespeare.

Related: Tech-niques: Tales from the Bard

Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library

The Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library (WHSCL) is currently under renovation and should be finished by Labor Day. The main entrance will be relocated to the lower level, opening onto the plaza, with a new relocated service desk as patrons enter the library. Life sciences collections – biology, human anatomy, physiology, microbiology and animal culture – have been moved from Woodruff Library to the WHSCL. Bound journals that are available through online archives have been removed and recycled.

Access the library's website.

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