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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NE library revamp works with open space concept

NE+Campus%E2%80%99+library+will+get+new+periodical+shelving%2C+textbooks+and+furniture+for+more+space+to+sit+and+study.+%0D%0ADavid+Reid%2FThe+Collegian
NE Campus’ library will get new periodical shelving, textbooks and furniture for more space to sit and study. David Reid/The Collegian

By Kelli Henderson/entertainment editor

Times are a’-changin, and the NE library is doing everything it can to keep up.

NE Campus’ library will get new periodical shelving, textbooks and furniture for more space to sit and study.
David Reid/The Collegian

Library services director Mark Dolive is in the middle of a functional remodeling to open up the space and redefine it as not just a library.

Dolive, who was at Weatherford College and SE Campus  before heading to NE, said he knew NE had to change.

“It’s really interesting coming from SE because SE, we could have 25,000 students a day come through the facility there,” he said. “Here, it was rather surprising that some days we’d only have six, seven hundred students.”

Dolive said he wants to revamp the library space, change furnishings and make the building not just a study hall but a space for students to relax and enjoy their time on campus.

“SE doesn’t have a student center. It’s also a mall-type concept, so the library is in the center of the campus,” he said. “Here, we are a separate building. It is not technically a destination place unless your faculty does give you an assignment.”

Because some furniture had been there since the library first opened, they received new tables and chairs that helped

redefine a study area on the main floor where shelves once stood, he said.

“Even before we had the chairs pulled up, students were pulling up chairs and sitting down,” public service librarian Beth Mullins said. “They just really needed more space just to sit and study, and get together with a friend and do homework and things.”

The list for the main floor also includes new periodical shelving, new textbooks and a brand new section.

“One thing they’ve never done here is have a popular reading collection, and that’s a big debate in academic libraries,” Dolive said. “And it’s basically bringing in things like best-sellers or those items that are just like off the New York Times best-seller list, whether they’re fiction or non-fiction.”

Dolive said they are using bookstores like Barnes and Noble for ideas, like new shelving enhancements and semi-permanent book displays.

The biggest change for the main floor is the professional-styled art wall where the old art space used to be. Dolive has removed the big bulletin board and brought in professional lighting to highlight the new space.

“We want a special space within the library,” he said. “They have good places on campus, but I want a place to display student work.”

With NE being the only library with a legal section, Dolive said staff paid close attention to the section with new shelving units, a presentation area and a rearrangement of tables. NE paralegal student Suzanne Kellar said it is easier to find books now.

“Yeah, I like this setup more because it’s like a classroom whereas before we had all the tables lined up against the walls,” she said. “The teacher is able to go between the rows and answer questions a lot easier.”

The bottom floor will have more wiring and outlets for students to use their laptops. Dolive said he wants 40-inch screens for bulletin boards and for the study rooms so students can control them through iPads or tablets to do collaborative work. It will have new countertops, lounge furniture and screens for local and district news. He said students enjoy the individual-size cubicles, where they can lay out their work and have their own space to study.

For a districtwide change, the libraries will now offer a service called E-books from Epsco. Students can download popular and academic e-books onto their devices. Students will no longer have to go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble, Dolive said.

This January, the libraries will welcome Discovery Service, a one-stop shop for library users. When searching for information, students will no longer have to pull up individual windows to search for books, articles, etc. The database will have a single box on the page, like Google, and it will search everything pertaining to the subject.

“It’s what libraries are going to,” Dolive said. “And it’s not cheap, but it’s also what students want and faculty. All of us want to do the Google thing where, one search, I get all the information I want, whether the information is good or bad.”

NE student and part-time library worker Amanda Metz said she thinks the open and defined spaces for studying will help students.

“I like it a lot,” she said. “It looks better. There are more tables, so people are like, ‘Oh cool, I can study here,’ because it used to be all the tables were all downstairs, and some people don’t even know there is a downstairs.”

Dolive said his main goal in all the remodeling is to create a functional space that encourages studying.

“We’ve defined the spaces,” he said. “And that’s what function is, defining spaces for our users.”



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