Library Renovations Coming to Capilano University

Megan Amato // Associate News Editor

The Library Department at Capilano University has decided to take its facilities to the next level this Fall. Last year, when students returned from their summer holidays, they were greeted with Library renovations that featured the new and trendy Learning Commons, with spaces marked off for the Math Learning Centre, English Language Support, the Collaboration Zone, and the Writing Centre. The new nooks and crannies provided students with great spaces to study and enjoy breaks from the chaos of student life. Similarly, this Fall, Capilano students will be welcomed back with an updated new look on the main floor of the campus library—re-imagined to fit students’ productivity and comfort. 

“Many of the students come to the library in a rush with the intention to use the computers to print assignments,” said Head Librarian Debbie Schachter. “[Which is why] we are moving the printing station nearer to the entrance to the library, so that students may get in and out efficiently.”  

To make it easier and more accessible for students, the floor layout will be changed. In addition to the quick print stations move to the Library’s entrance, service desks will also be rearranged and placed in separate areas near the staircase at the entrance of the library for efficiency, convenience, and clarity. The Library Service desks will face the staircase while the research desk will be beside the stairs. The IT Service’s desk will face towards the quick print stations, in close proximity to the printers to maximize productivity. Student computer desks will be updated and arranged in ways that will enhance students’ study time and make it easier for groups to collaborate. 

“The aim of this refresh is to accommodate and address student needs, to enhance their library experience, and create study areas that are both practical and comfortable. A small amount of furniture has been bought to enhance comfort and support student productivity,” said Schachter regarding the new student work spaces. 

The decision to change the practicality of the spaces and change the flow of the library did not happen overnight, however. Like any plan for alteration at the University, there are many stages of approval involved before contractors can even pull out measuring tape. Data is collected from student surveys and questionnaires with the intent of learning what students need and feel regarding a space in order to work more efficiently in the library. The conclusions are then brought to a board who goes over annual budgeting and costs to see what the Library can afford to change. The VP of Academics and Provost makes the final decision on what funds are allocated from the Facilities budget to update the library. 

Library and university staff hope to have renovations done by the beginning of the Fall semester. In the meantime, students studying during the summer semester may experience a bit of confusion navigating the Library, but Schachter assures us that the Library is still providing full services. The circulation and IT desks have been temporarily arranged in between the entrances to the Library and the Learning Commons, and research librarians are still available to help students until the end of the summer term. The printers and pay stations have been moved into LB105, the small enclave at the north side of the library. However, Schachter added that “there will be fewer computers available temporarily during August while the work is underway.” 

Oftentimes, changes can be difficult and confusing. The process of getting to create a whole new space can be overwhelming. Though, in the long run, the University hopes these changes will enhance student productivity and help inspire a better work environment for new and returning students. Capilano has the students’ best interest at heart, which is why these facilities will inspire teamwork, community, and productivity. In the meantime, before the renovations are finished, Schachter shares that the Library staff “are all excited [about] making the space more open and welcoming to students” and are open to answer any remaining questions students may have.  

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