A constructive summer: Henry Madden Library taking shape

Construction on the new Henry Madden Library is expected to be completed in January 2009. Study space in the south wing will become a construction zone starting May 19.
Juan Villa / The Collegian

As the Henry Madden Library rounds out its second year under construction and renovation, library employees are being moved to temporary buildings and students are left to study elsewhere until its completion in January 2009.

Library services will remain available throughout the summer and fall semesters, but the small amount of study space that was available in the south wing will become a construction zone on May 19.

“All services will still be available,” Henry Madden Library Dean Peter McDonald said. “The one thing there will not be is the student study space.”

Library materials, except special collections, will be available by online request and can be picked up at University Center (UC) Room 123, also known as the Renaissance Room.

Student laptops will remain available for checkout in UC 5, where printers are also available.

Many undergraduate students haven’t known the library as anything but under construction, since the demolition began on August 8, 2006.

Sophomore Stephanie Klein entered her first semester at Fresno State just as construction was beginning on the new library.

“It will be so nice to have a library again,” Klein said. “My entire college experience has been without one and now there is going to be even less of it. At least future students will have a nice library to study in.”

Dean of Student Affairs Paul Oliaro, Ph.D., said that the University Student Union (USU) will remain a prime study location for students, but other options are being looked into.

Locations such as UC 200 have been reserved as student study space, but are under utilized and seldom full, Oliaro said.

“The library staff have worked really hard to ensure students have access to library materials,” Oliaro said. “This is the last phase of renovation but after it’s completed in spring 2009 we should have some semblance of normalcy.”

Students and staff alike are looking forward to the library reopening.

Library staff will be housed in temporary buildings that will sit south of the Satellite Student Union until December, when they can move into their newly renovated offices and begin moving books inside.

Victor Morales, assistant superintendent of Swinerton Incorporated, helps oversee the project and said the new addition and renovations will be complete by January. He does not foresee construction taking any longer.

“It is progressing very well, we are on schedule or ahead of schedule on all projects,” Morales said.

Once it reopens, the four-story library will be the largest in the 23-campus California State University system.

It will feature state of the art information technology systems, space for more library holdings and provide many student reader stations.

Until then, access to library databases and electronic journals is available online and reference help will be available on the main floor of the USU, and through instant messaging.

For students like senior Chris Johnson, not having a library on campus has affected the way they study and their whole college experience.

“Even though services are still available, it just isn’t the same as having a library to wander around in,” Johnson said. “Now I go to the city library or a book store to get my fix, but it isn’t the same as stopping at the library between classes for a quick cram session.”

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