$30 million planned for Moffett Library remodel

Erin Wrinkle

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Ryan Samuelson, government publications/
information literacy librarian, standing by the Moffett DVD collection.
Photo by NICOLE BARRON

Over the next few years, President Jesse Rogers has hopes of giving Moffett Library a more modern look, thanks to a Tuition Revenue Bond from the state of Texas.

Rogers submitted a request to pay for the remodeling of the out-of-date library at the August 9 Board of Regents meeting.

“The project will cost at least $30 million,” Rogers said. “A project of this size can only be done with a state of Texas appropriation.”

Although Rogers knows the funding is unlikely because the state is currently in a large deficit situation, he said the library remodel is a necessity and priority.

“The current library was built in 1965 and remodeled and expanded in 1986, a time that we could not imagine the abundance of information available to us over the internet or via the power of today’s very small communication devices,” he said.

Andrea Williams, Associate University Librarian of Public Services, said some of the furnishings are reflective of the 80’s era.

“Buildings of that era never were expected to handle major Internet access or heavy use of computers for personal computing,” Williams said.

Not only is the building being remodeled because of current technology updates but also according to university librarian, Clara Latham, the building isn’t even up to Americans with Disabilities Act code.

ADA expects libraries to have ramps, visible signs, braille listing all rooms, and sufficient parking for handicap students.

Other problems of the library include not enough power outlets, a limited amount of study areas, and dim lighting.

“The language lab needs to be updated to CDs rather than tapes,” Latham said.

She said if the funds are granted for a new library, some of the improvements will include updated technology, larger study rooms and even a coffee bar.

Latham, who has been university librarian since 2002, also hopes the library update will include the enlarging of all the library’s current labs.

Cornty Bates, serial and electronic resourses librarian, said the inside of Moffett needs a facelift.

“I strongly believe in atmosphere,” Bates said. “The furniture is outdated and dingy. The walls needed painting. The carpet is atrocious.”

Bates said the optimal speed and access of wireless internet is also a Moffett Library problem.

“This is obviously pretty frustrating for students, faculty and staff who have come to rely heavily on wireless access almost everywhere,” Bates said.

With being more updated and more user friendly, Bates said the library has already made improvements with the additon of Primo, which made searching through its catalog easier to use.

“We have some of the most knowledgeable and helpful staff of any university library out there,” Bates said.

“I’m afraid that some people see how outdated and unattractive the inside of Moffett is and it keeps them from using all of our amazing resources.”

“The remodel will take about one year,” Latham said, “but students won’t be affected by the remodel because certain parts of the library will remain open.”

“The language lab needs to be updated to CDs rather than tapes,” Latham said.

Even though the funds haven’t been granted and a start date hasn’t been finalized, Latham and Rogers seem excited for the new updates.

“The library must be redesigned for our new world of communication and information storage and exchange,” Rogers said.

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