Library set to remodel

Teresa Taylor — Staff writer 

In the week following commencement, Dordt University will begin remodeling the John and Louise Hulst Library. The library staff will relocate the movies and games so that five offices may be added along the north wall of the Study Cafe. The construction will remove the bathroom, and three offices will take that space. The library will maintain seating in the space between the rows of offices. 

The online education department will occupy five of the offices; the global education department will occupy two; the Kielstra Center will occupy one. They are relocating to the library to make space for new classrooms. 

“SB1637 used to be a classroom,” Howard Wilson, Vice President for University Operations, said. “We made it into an office pod two or three years ago, and now it needs to go become a classroom again.” 

Dordt faces the issue of space with each incoming freshman class. The new apartments, parking lots, and Commons, as well any construction plans still forming, aim to address the capacity problem. 

“It’s driven by the need for having places for people to go to class, for people to sleep, and for people to park their cars,” Wilson said. 

When the library staff first heard of the remodel, they were disappointed to learn they will lose study space for students, as well as the public restroom. 

“If the student body is growing, the library probably needs to grow as well,” Josiah Cogan, Public Services Coordinator, said. 

The library often struggles to provide enough study space for students, especially during exams. 

“Last fall…we actually had to put additional tables and seating downstairs,” Cogan said. 

Despite the added tables, the library still runs out of room at times, according to junior Meggie Kleveland. Kleveland has worked at the library since spring her freshman year. 

“It doesn’t make sense that we’re decreasing the space,” Kleveland said. “There’s already limited space as it is.” 

Students use the library to study independently, but they also use it to work on group projects or to interact academically with peers. 

“[The library] is a place of community,” Kleveland said. “To have less space there means there’s less community that can happen.” 

Moving the movies and games requires the library staff to make space for them in other parts of the library. They have chosen to relocate them to the current reference section behind the teaching resource collection. The staff will integrate the reference books into other sections downstairs and donate some. 

“We are also thinking of how furniture from the Study Cafe could be re-positioned in other parts of the library to preserve as many student spaces for studying as possible,” Jenni Breems, Director of Library services, said. “We are going to do our best to maximize our seating and the desirability of that space after the offices are put in.” 

Photo credit: Teresa Taylor 

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