Sophomore risk management and insurance major, Aakriti Pant, began to panic when her laptop broke last week.
She hurried to the library to use a computer to do her homework, but was met with caution tape instead. At a first glance, it looked like a crime scene, but that was not the case.
In reality, the library’s first floor was being renovated. She was scared there was no hope, but luckily for Pant, the computer lab on the second floor was still open to students as well as the computers at the back of the first floor.
“To be honest, I am very excited about these changes,” Pant said.
Chief information officer at the library, Thomas Hoover, said ULM students are ready for changes in the library.
“I think that the new renovations are very exciting,” Hoover said. “The feedback we have gotten from students has been validating as to what we have been doing.”
Three years ago, the library launched a deselection project where old, out-of-date books were replaced by digital resources.
That project freed up a lot of space in the library. The only question left was what to do with that space.
“The deselection project of the books on the second floor three years ago opened up the opportunity to look for more innovative and creative ways to use the space,” Hoover said.
Senior atmospheric science major, Devorea McMillian, works at the computer lab in the library. McMillian said the renovations have not affected his work, but he is ready for them to be completed.
He said renovations help students “gain a better appreciation for the library.”He saw it first hand last semester with the installation of the second floor lab.
“After the second floor was renovated, a lot of people started to study there,” McMillian said. “It is quite refreshing and kind of gives a modern feel to the library.”
Hoover and the team working to renovate the library, researched until they found the best way to use the empty space left by the deselection project. Then, they began working with SGA to find a way to make these renovations possible.
Research coupled with contributions from SGA allowed Hoover and his team to change the chairs and get new carpet in the library, and develop the Thomas J. Nicholson Innovation Center and virtual reality lab.
Although Pant is anticipating the current renovations, she said there are a few more changes that could improve the quality of the library and improve students’ experiences.
“I would like there to be more charging points with cords and water filter stations on all floors to make the study environment more favorable for students,” Pant said.
According to Hoover, the first floor renovations are expected to be complete next week while the entire process is not expected to be complete until late October.