My alma mater undergraduate institution, a small liberal arts college, has spent the last year or more rebuilding the library. (It’s good, because it really needed it.) I think that what they’re doing is really great—they’ve put a lot of thought into things, starting with putting the reference desk on the right as you enter and the circulation desk on the right as you leave. (Sure, it makes total sense—send users to the ref desk as soon as they walk in wanting information—but how many libraries can you think of that make you trip over the circulation desk when you come in?) There’s going to be a lovely, large reading room with fireplaces, and they’ve also been really smart about putting in video and audio editing studios.
On the virtual side, it looks like they’re putting a good bit of money and effort into a redesign of the OPAC, more and better databases, and technology in general, including a blog!
The library is part of an overarching Information Services department, which includes the IT people, media services, etc. Not only are they in the same department, they’re in the same building, and I think this is paying dividends. (It’s been a single department for some time, but I think they’re really hitting their stride with the idea now.) I can only imagine that having the computer help desk in the same building is good for drawing in students, and it looks like the librarians and the IT folks have been talking over the water cooler—a good thing, in my book.
According to the blog, the books in storage over the hiatus have been moved back into the library, and it’s going to be open for winter quarter in January. (During the construction people and books have been stuck in pigeonholes all over campus.) I’m going to Kalamazoo for a wedding in December, and I’m hoping I can score a sneak peek.