The O’Malley Overhaul

By Luke Hartman & Lauren Carr, Senior Writers

Students have been seeing many changes throughout campus over the last few years and the O’Malley Library is another part of those ever growing changes. This semester and next semester students will be seeing changes with library hours and some small updates to make it more accessible to students and faculty.

The library is only open 24 hours during the week of finals, but there are currently steps being taken in order to keep certain floors open full time throughout the academic year.

“We’re planning to keep floors 2 through 5, except for the old bookstacks, open all night whenever classes are in session,” William Walters the Executive Director for the Mary Alice & Tom O’Malley Library, said. “However, we won’t be able to do this until we’ve installed locks and/or alarms on the doors that lead to the first floor and the old bookstacks. We were hoping to have the work done this semester, but it’s taking longer than expected.”

The changes will be finished either at the very end of the semester or the beginning of the fall semester. The library hours for the end of the semester will remain the same.

“As someone who spends ample time in the Library, some of the most tranquil, work conducive locations are on the lower floors. I am so glad the library is making these changes, because after midnight the top floors have been crowded, so having all this extra space will allow more people to really get their work done,” Sophomore David Cartolano said.

Photo of Courtesy of The Quadrangle Archives

Renovation for the Instructional Design Center and the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center will also be taking place in the upcoming months. The empty space in the back of the fifth floor will be converted for these two centers. The goal for this renovation is to make them more visible and accessible to faculty, students, and visitors of the college. The renovation is scheduled for this summer and will be completed by the fall semester.

Students will lose small study space on the fifth floor but study rooms on the fourth floor, which were are currently being used for Instructional Design, will be available for students once again.

“I have heard about this center, but never actually gone. I think especially with the shift in focus to issues on race and religion in our culture, the expansion of this center is really important. It is so good that the college is putting funds into something that could really make a difference on campus,” Senior Jenn Ramos said.

There are additional changes that are extremely likely to happen in the upcoming year. The internet cafe will not be undergoing any construction but will see slight changes. Additional tables, computers and seating will be added to the cafe and they will also be added in the front lobby, which is where the art exhibits are held.

One of the biggest changes to happen to the library is that students will no longer need to swipe into the library with their ID cards. This will start as a trial run in the fall.

“The new policy will be in effect only during the day. 8 am to 10 pm, , and we’ll still be very strict about swiping or showing IDs after 10 pm. The goal is to see what happens, to observe and record any difficulties or problems that arise,” Walters said. “If the temporary policy change doesn’t result in any problems, it may lead to the eventual removal of the turnstiles.”

If there are problems during this tiral run then the library will return to having students show and scan IDs in order to get into the building. If there are seriously problems the trial run end before the end of the fall semester.

“The safety of students is our primary concern, but it’s not entirely clear that the turnstiles are contributing to a safe environment,” Walters said.

A security update for the library will also see the addition of at least nine more security cameras throughout the library. Walters currently does not have a timeframe for when this project will be completed.

Students are known for having issues with the printers that are located throughout the library but the library has fixed this problem recently.

“The old lobby printer broke down a few weeks ago, and we realized why it had needed maintenance so often: it was never designed to handle the number of pages we were printing. The lobby computers print about 2,250 pages per month, and the new printer is designed to handle 3,000 to 17,000 pages per month. It’s also 50% faster than the old one,” Walters said.

With policies and changes are set to be implemented within the coming months, it will be interesting to see how this changes the library culture on campus.