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McKillop Library Renovation

Message from the Director

Dawn Emsellem, Director of Library Services

You may have noticed the shelves on the first floor emptying out over the past few months. This is because the library team has been busy preparing for an upcoming renovation of the library’s first floor which will hopefully begin after finals in May 2023. This renovation is part of the Salve Signature Experience strategic initiative led by President Kelli Armstrong.  The project arose out of a campus space analysis and focus groups of faculty, staff, and students conducted last year and further informed by meetings with faculty, students, and staff over the past months. We held information sessions last fall where faculty and staff learned how this project aligns with our strategic initiatives, met the architects, heard about the preliminary/early work underway, and asked questions.

The news of this renovation is exciting for many of us on the library team because we see an opportunity to fulfill years of student requests on our annual survey. Over the years, students have asked for more comfortable seating, more flexible options for study furniture, better lighting, and updated interior design. While we’ve sought to fulfill those requests little by little each year, we hope the renovation will achieve all these changes at once on the first floor.

The renovation will also bring student academic services such as the writing and tutoring center to the first floor, which I feel confident will lead to more opportunities for collaboration between librarians and other academic success colleagues. I believe this will be a wonderful new academically focused gathering space on campus, a place for scholarly discussions, exploration of new ideas, and students discovering where their intellectual passions and gifts meet their vocations.

The renovation also provides an opportunity for the library to review our collections and selectively remove titles that have not been checked out in 20 years, have outdated information, and are far outside the boundaries of Salve Regina’s current curriculum. These decisions are also reviewed by full-time faculty to ensure that we’re not removing titles that are important to their teaching and scholarship. This process should be undertaken regularly in an academic library, and the renovation provided us with an opportunity to subscribe to collection analysis software to help us make better decisions. All books that meet donation criteria are donated to several partners. By May, we plan that all library materials will be off the first floor. We look forward to greeting you in September from a newly designed circulation and welcome desk. Please feel free to email or fill out a comment form if you have comments or questions.