High backs? Low backs? Red chairs? Yellow chairs?
More study seats. Open spaces. More direct light. Perhaps a few funky chairs. Rooms to practice presentations or work in groups.
While these new features of the R. Howard Webster Library are at least a year away, students are being invited to participate in a series of furniture and technology consultations — all part of the plan to renovate and expand the library, which opened its doors more than 20 years ago.
“We want to hear from students. We are going to be creating a library of the 21st century — one that provides students with the best digital learning and interactive environment that promotes critical thinking, research and innovation,” says University Librarian Guylaine Beaudry. “This is the chance for students to weigh in on important elements, such as furniture and new technologies, that will support them in achieving academic success.”
From October 27 to November 14, students can drop by the third floor of the Webster Library (LB3) in the J.W. McConnell Building on the Sir George Williams Campus to see a variety of furniture pieces on display. These will include different styles of chairs, individual and group study tables, individual and group workstations, benches, footrests and collaborative writing surfaces.
“It’s very easy to give us feedback,” explains Beaudry. “Students can fill out a paper or online survey – it’s that easy, and very important to making this library one that will respond to the needs of our students.”
In the coming months, students will be asked to evaluate and test technologies that can be used to promote group collaboration.
Webster Transformation Project
The four-phase transformation project, which begins in January 2015 and ends in 2017, will bring the Webster Library in line with those of next-generation academic libraries. Concordia’s Board of Governors gave its approval on October 22 to proceed with the awarding the construction, professional and supply contracts.
It will also address a shortage of quality study spaces, a concern expressed by students in university-wide surveys on library spaces, services and collections conducted in 2010 and 2013. In fact, the number of study seats will increase by 114 per cent.
“The Webster Transformation Project is a central element of the university’s ongoing efforts to enhance services and to maximize support to students,” says Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon. “Libraries plays a central role in academic life and in fostering research and innovation, and this project positions us as a leader nationally.”
Visit the new Webster Transformation Blog for bi-weekly news and project updates.