There is more natural light, more study space, less noise — and that’s just for starters.
Welcome to the transformation of the R. Howard Webster Library on Concordia’s Sir George Williams Campus. The project is nothing less than a radical rethinking of every aspect of how the library functions, from the allocation of space to the types of holdings in the collection. “Anyone who hasn’t been to the Webster Library in a few years will be in for a surprise,” says Guylaine Beaudry, university librarian.
Work began in January 2015 and the three-year project is well underway (see the sidebar, “The transformation”). “It’s essential to our growth as a university that we provide inspiring, nurturing environments for our students,” says Beaudry, who has been a driving force behind the project since arriving at Concordia in 2014. “Students asked for more seating, more technology, more comfortable chairs, and that’s what they’re getting. We even involved students in the furniture selection process.”
Concordia President Alan Shepard identifies the library transformation as an important priority. “This project will help deliver a next-generation education, which is in line with our new strategic direction of teaching for tomorrow,” says Shepard. “It will reinforce the libraries’ ability to support learning and research activities, provide a foundation for intellectual life within Concordia and foster a culture of research, innovation and collaborative learning.”