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3 years, 4 phases and 113% more study seats

From zero-noise areas to collaborative learning, Concordia’s Webster Library delivers the fourth and final phase of its transformation project
September 18, 2017
By James Roach

In a 2013 survey carried out by university librarian Guylaine Beaudry and her team — more than 4,000 Concordians weighed in on the future of the Webster Library. The staff took notes, lots of notes. 

And Beaudry, who is also vice-provost of Digital Strategy, went a bit further. She carried out a series of university-wide consultations to ensure the transformation project supported quality research, learning and intellectual discourse across Concordia’s four faculties.

Her goal? To turn the 22-year-old Webster Library into a space for next-generation research and learning. 

A symphony in 4 phases: the Webster Library Transformation

When the university’s Board of Governors green-lit the plan in fall 2014, Beaudry’s team moved forward in concert with Facilities Management and a wide array of internal and external partners.

On September 12, 2017, they proudly welcomed Concordia students, faculty and staff to the opening of Phase 4 — the last in the Webster Library Transformation series.

27 per cent more space and a 113 per cent increase in study seats

On offer at the transformed Webster location is a dramatic shift in the collective perception of libraries — 22 different types of study and research environments to accommodate a range of learning styles — all designed in response to the expressed needs of Concordians.

Hallmarks of the project include a transitional staircase that plays curated audio clips, vibrant colours throughout, spaces optimized to stream natural sunlight, living green walls and an interactive technology program that facilitates individual and collaborative learning.

And, thanks to a partnership with the Access Centre for Students with Disabilities, iZoom, ClaroRead Plus and JAWS are available on computers to maximize library accessibility for disabled users.

For all the new faces on campus this fall, here’s a quick phase-by-phase rundown of the transformation. 

Phase 4, LB-3 West (fall 2017)

  • Two collaborative spaces
  • Four presentation practice rooms
  • Visualization studio
  • Two living green walls
  • Office of the vice-provost, Digital Strategy and university librarian

Phase 4, LB-4 (fall 2017)

  • Two large reading rooms
  • One small reading room
  • Four collaborative spaces
  • Three group study rooms
  • Two living green walls
  • Collection stacks (H to QA 76.79)

Phase 3
, LB-2 (winter 2017)

  • Three silent reading rooms
  • Four group study rooms
  • Two active learning classrooms
  • Reserves room for course reserves and hold requests
  • Collaborative space
  • Ask Us! individual consultation pods, staffed by librarians and staff
  • Technology Sandbox where students can try out emerging technologies
  • Display area for new acquisitions

Phase 2, LB-5 (spring 2016)

  • Four dissertation writers’ rooms for graduate students, including a lounge, photocopier/printer/scanner, lockers and shelving for books
  • Two group study rooms
  • Shelving for collections
  • Three large, quiet reading rooms (one designated for graduate students only, see photo below)

Phase 1
, LB3 East (fall 2015)

  • Two large reading rooms
  • Collaborative space
  • Three group study rooms
  • Seminar room / thesis defence room
  • Multifunctional room
  • Zero-noise room / Friends of the Library room

Celebrating a university-wide vision brought to fruition

Mark your calendars. Concordia Library is planning to host a community celebration in early 2018 to officially launch the Webster Library Transformation.

Keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation to applaud an award-winning project built on cross-sector collaboration and community consultation, and a concrete example of how Concordia continues to grow smartly.

Concordia Library: 3 properties on 2 campuses

And don’t forget to visit the Grey Nuns Reading Room on the Sir George Williams Campus and the Vanier Library on the Loyola Campus.

Find out more about
Concordia Library.




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