Space to be added to library by 2015

by Beacon Staff • September 22, 2011

 Correspondent/strong

A new location, expanded seating, and access to a wider range of resources are just some of the possible changes to come to the Iwasaki Library by 2015, college officials say.

Robert Fleming, executive director of the library, said that, in a survey of students, the number one concern was the physical space of the library. A committee of administrators is now seeking ways to accommodate the growing population at the college.

“One possibility might be to move the library to an entirely new location where there is more space available,” Fleming said. “Another possibility is to remain where we are and expand into the floors above and below us in the Walker building.”

Fleming said he sees the library as the academic heart of the campus, so expanding it would be more desirable than relocating.

Most college libraries, according to Fleming, have enough seating for between 10-25 percent of the student body, but at Emerson, there is only enough seating for 6 percent of the student population. In a student survey conducted last spring concerning the Iwasaki, Fleming said insufficient space was the number one concern.

Freshman Amanda Swan said she has already witnessed the space conflict in her first few weeks at Emerson.

“The library definitely needs more desks, I always have to wait or I just leave,” the marketing communication major said.

[caption id=attachment_3813488 align=alignright width=300 caption=Allyson Chapman/Beacon Correspondent]a href=http://berkeleybeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/CSC_0225.jpgimg class=size-medium wp-image-3813488 title=CSC_0225 src=http://berkeleybeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/CSC_0225-300x225.jpg alt= width=300 height=225 //a[/caption]

Currently, there are 14 single desks, roughly 125 chairs, 44 computers, and 150,000 print volumes in the Iwasaki. The emWill and Grace /emtelevision set, donated by alumni and producer of the show Max Mutchnick, takes up 1,100 square feet of usable floor space.

Junior Ross Wagenhofer said that the set would be better suited at a different location, especially during mid-terms and finals week when library space is scarce.

“I aways thought it was a really weird space to put a set, considering it’s a library,” the writing, literature, and publishing major said.

Communication management graduate student, Christina Miranda, said she thinks the set adds ambiance to the college.

“It’s kind of cool and serves the school. It’s so Emerson.”

The 150,000 piece print collection was cleaned out at some point in time to create additional space, transporting all periodicals dated pre-1986 to an offsite location, according to reference librarian Cate Hirschbiel. Students are still able to access those books, she said, by requesting them online.

While there is no word of whether the television set will be moved as part of the 2015 library expansion, students like Regina Lutskiy said finding space for booking rooms is a problem now, and is only going to increase as the college grows.

“I think it’s difficult to find space on campus no matter where you go,” the junior marketing communication major said.

emXakota Espinoza, Hayden Wright, amp; Anum Hussain, Beacon staff, contributed reporting. Farley can be reached at Erin_Farley@emerson.edu. /em