Library Renovation FAQ

photo of Reed College library with area of construction highlighted with a dotted line

Why are we renovating the library?

We are making the library safer and better.

The college is investing in a voluntary seismic update and remodel of the south wing addition of the library (see dotted outlined area above) that extends toward Woodstock Boulevard along the Eliot circle entrance. Unlike the rest of the library, the 1963 south wing addition was built with unreinforced masonry (URM) that presents risks during a seismic event. When completed, the construction work will make the library safer in the event of an earthquake, and it will address accessibility and improve the functionality of existing space. Post construction, the library will be safer, have improved accessibility, and be more inviting.

What areas of the library will be impacted?

floor map of Reed College library

(click to enlarge)

What specifically will be done?

  • Fortify areas with unreinforced masonry.
  • Add compact shelving for bound journals on the first and second floors, making these stacks accessible by elevator.
  • Addition of an assistive technology room and an enclosed group-study room.
  • The addition of a third floor above the south wing will extend the library building's academic space to create a 24-student classroom, seven new faculty offices, and a breakroom.
  • Installation of accessible and all-gender bathrooms on all four library levels.
  • Refurbish thesis desks and update furnishings.
  • Install new carpet and paint.
  • Replace windows as well as the heating and air conditioning system for improved thermal comfort and acoustical ambiance.

When will the construction take place?

The construction will begin after May 19, 2020 (after Commencement) and be completed by the end of August 2021, in time for the new academic year.

How will the library and library users be impacted during the construction?

Most library services will not be impacted. The four biggest areas of impact are:

Noise: The construction will take place M-F, 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., in order to have the least impact on library users.

Seating: The availability of traditional thesis desks will be impacted (see below).

Collections: All south wing circulating books will remain in the library; there will be minimal impact on access to books. Bound journals, Reediana, and a small collection of government documents will be stored off campus during the construction. Bound journals will be available via interlibrary loan request.

Access: Sections of the lower level will have limited accessibility at various times during construction. Accommodations will be made based on need.

How will thesis desks be impacted by the renovation?

There will be a reduction of traditional thesis desks available for seniors between Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. The Library Users Experience Group conducted focus groups to inform the thesis-desk allocation process for the affected semesters and will be conducting a rising senior survey in the spring of 2020. The final plan will likely consist of more than one option—including a traditional thesis desk or shared thesis desk. Seniors who 1) get a lab space, 2) studio art space, or 3) choose not to get a thesis desk will not be impacted. The thesis desk lottery is expected to take place as it has in years past—on the third Wednesday of the fall semester.

Who should I contact if I have further questions?

Dena M. Hutto
Norman F. Carrigg College Librarian
Hauser Memorial Library

Steven W. Yeadon
Associate Director of Facilities Operations
Physical Plant