Feb 15, 2019

Here at last

Bryan Cole / The Collegian

With the new library comes long-awaited study and hang-out space

For many Fresno State students, the wait for a library has been inconvenient at best and sometimes even agonizing as they fight over seating in the University Student Union and look tirelessly for a printer or open outlet to plug in their laptop.

Many have gone their entire college career without some very quintessential college experiences: pulling an all-nighter in the library, browsing collections of books and simply studying or hanging out in a library.

Come Feb. 20, the Henry Madden Library will finally re-open and students will be able to experience what they’ve been missing the past few years.

Peter McDonald, dean of library services, said he has been working tirelessly to make sure the library, which has cost the university $105 million, fits the needs of students.

McDonald said he wants students to know that the library has been worth the wait.

Bryan Cole / The Collegian

“Be excited; use the library; work with us; demand good services from us; be patient and enjoy it,” McDonald said.

So far, most students have just seen the building itself, a towering structure of glass and steel, but the rest has been left to their imaginations.

McDonald said students will find the inside of the library just as impressive as the outside.

McDonald said the majority of the books will be stored on the ground floor, in high-tech compact shelving that allows the majority of Fresno State’s 1.3 million collection to be on one level. This floor will also be reserved as quiet study area where students can focus on studying for exams, writing papers, reading and relaxing as skylights bathe the north side of the floor with natural light.

The first floor is centered around the main entrance, with a mosaic of grey and white marble framing the circulation desk. A combination of soft seating and tables, similar to the new furniture in the University Student Union, will furnish the space. McDonald said there will also be plenty of outlets available for students to use for their laptops, which makes this floor the perfect area for studying, as well as hanging out.

Bryan Cole / The Collegian

Multimedia facility, art and coffee offer both learning and relaxing

The second floor is also home to Studio 2, a teaching and instruction center housing a diverse collection of technology that will enhance students learning experience.

“Studio 2,” McDonald said, “will house the most sophisticated smart classrooms on campus, as well as three seminar rooms and six collaboration rooms.”

In addition to Studio 2, the floor will also include a two-level gallery that will feature professional artwork, as well as student exhibits.

Next to the gallery is the long-anticipated Starbucks, which eventually will have extra seating in the café area, so students can grab their grande mocha frappuccino and just relax and hang out.

But the biggest feature on the second floor is the Elders Weaving Room in the far Northwest corner. This two-story room has opaque walls and will feature a large mural depicting the story and history of Native American basket weaving.

Bryan Cole / The Collegian

“The room will eventually be used as a reception area for large parties,” McDonald said, “but it will currently be filled with soft seating to allow students to read and enjoy the artwork.”

The third floor of the library houses the music and multimedia collection, as well as the media production lab.

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