Leavey Library recently completed renovations of its second-floor information commons. The revamped facilities have been open to students since the start of the semester last Monday.
The renovations, funded by the Office of the Provost, took place over the course of the summer.
Catherine Quinlan, dean of USC Libraries, said that it was imperative that renovations be completed before the beginning of the fall semester.
Some major highlights of the renovation are the new carpeting, paint and furniture that mirror the new decor of the first floor and basement. The first floor and basement were the first portion of Leavey to receive renovations back in 2014.
Students have already been responding favorably to the renovations that have taken place.
Rachel Hutson, a junior majoring in theatre, said that she is glad to see the availability of Mac computers, printers, space and bright lighting that accompany the newly painted walls.
“It seems like the lighting is a lot nicer … It is bright in here,” Hutson said. “I like the way it is organized. It is not stuffy but really open.”
Students can now look forward to more study seats on the second floor as seat numbers increased from 206 to 310 seats. The additional seats at Leavey arose from the shrinking of computer desk sizes from the past.
“With today’s technology, we don’t need furniture that big,” Quinlan said.
Quinlan mentioned that when Leavey opened in the 1990s, its computers were much larger and needed more room to accommodate. Today’s desktop computer, however, takes up less space, and Leavey is thus able to accommodate more desks and seats.
Increasing capacity and facilities was a major focus of the renovations. USC Libraries has purchased more printers, scanners and copiers for the various floors in order to handle the increase in students.
Study rooms have also increased capacity. Two specific group study rooms on the second floor are able to accommodate up to 14 students each.
In terms of technology, Leavey has installed 76 upgraded Windows and Mac desktop computers that run productivity, statistical and design software. There is also now increased access to electrical outlets for laptop users.
Quinlan expressed her satisfaction with student efficiency as it relates to the new layout of the second floor.
“There’s more space, more chairs, more capacity and especially more variety of space so that it’s not just a study desk or cubicle and there’s more ways to rearrange the furniture to support what the students are trying to do,” Quinlan said.
The renovations are in response to USG advocating renovation of the Leavey interiors. USC Libraries conducted surveys asking students if they believe Leavey Library should be renovated and how it could better suit students’ academic needs.
Hugh McHarg, associate dean for programs and planning at USC Libraries, said that it was clear from students’ surveys that the library needed more study spaces.
“The Academic Affairs Committee of USG got very interested in working with us to update Leavey Library so that it could better support the scholarly activities of our students,” Quinlan said. “They were very interested in making progress in how the space was arranged so that it could more fully encourage students to study in groups.”
The second floor renovations are the second major facelift project undertaken at Leavey Library. The first renovation project took place last summer and involved upgrading the basement, first levels and the front terrace.
USC Libraries plans on continuing renovations of Leavey Library next summer with the third floor.