Fintel Library main floor to get a new look

Say goodbye to the traditional Fintel Library main floor and hello to a new and improved space for the Roanoke College community.

This summer, crews are renovating the library's main floor to transform it into a welcoming and appealing environment for students and the public. The plans will "create a unified whole that will recreate student engagement," said Stan Umberger, director of the library.

Some of these changes will include new seating, better lighting, improved technology and removing some of the columns surrounding the stairwell.   

The renovations began July 21 and are set to be complete by mid-October. The library will remain open during normal operating hours throughout the construction process, though currently, the library is closed to the public until students return to campus in late August.

Changes to the library were necessary after increased traffic began to flow through the library's front doors after the CUPS on Campus cafe opened in January 2013.

"The library became stickier," said Umberger. "The Roanoke College community began congregating, working and conversing as a collective unit. It was new activity that we had never seen."

The main floor of the library will have a completely new layout that will include specific zones for learning as well as expanded seating in the CUPS café area, up-to-date technology and new carpet, paint and lighting.

New chairs and tables will be added to the CUPS café area, and custom designed cases for recently published books and periodicals will be installed. A whiteboard wall and a television monitor also will be added in that space.

The Lending Services area, to the left of CUPS, will be redesigned and include a small collection of frequently used reference publications.

Toward the back of the main floor, near the elevator, a new Collaboration Zone will replace the former computer stations. College-sponsored speakers and events will also be held in this area.  

To the right of the Collaboration Zone, an area will be set aside for computer work. Named the Information Commons, this space will house larger tables and computer pods for people to work both on the computers and on the surrounding desk spaces. The tables will be located between the stairwell and the back windows.

A laptop counter with elevated seating will also be located in this zone, along with a printing station.

Beside the Information Commons, a separate zone will be used for studying purposes. This area, named the Focused Study Zone, will feature traditional seating and diner-style booths for studying.

Circulating magazines and DVDs have been temporarily relocated to the library's ground floor, but they will return to the main floor in the fall. Non-circulating magazines and reference materials have been moved to the ground floor and will remain there permanently.

By opening up the library's main floor, it will become more dynamic, functional and welcoming for groups.

Umberger said there are plans to renovate the library's other floors in the future, but no schedule has been determined. 

Check out the library's website for more information about the renovation.

-Published July 31, 2014

About the Author

Allison Shannon '15 of Salem, Va., is a student writer in Roanoke College's public relations office. She is double majoring in English and psychology, and she is a goalie for Roanoke's Women's Lacrosse team.

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