Library Renovation FAQ

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

Why do we need to renovate the library?

We are making the library safer. The college is investing in a voluntary seismic update and remodel of the south wing addition of the library 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, will improve accessibility, and will improve the functionality of the existing space.

What areas of the library will be impacted?

The south wing of the library, on all floors (from the basement through 4th floor). On the main level, the area includes the bathrooms on the main floor to the small rooms with windows, and from the reading room printer closet to the windows overlooking the great lawn.

What specifically will be done?

  • Fortify areas with unreinforced masonry.
  • Add compact shelving on the first and second floors.
  • Add group-study rooms.
  • Convert the south wing 3rd floor to academic space with a 24-student classroom, new faculty offices, and a breakroom.
  • Remove the south wing 4th floor.
  • Install accessible, single-user, all-gender bathrooms on all four levels.
  • Refurbish thesis desks and update furnishings.
  • Install new carpet and paint.
  • Replace windows as well as the heating and air conditioning system in the south wing.

When will the construction happen?

Preparation for the project begins Fall semester 2021. We expect work to happen in winter break 2021-2022 and continue through December 2022.

Will construction impact library accessibility and elevator use?

Some sections of the lower level will be accessible only by stairs, with no elevator access.

Need a book and can't get to it? Make a Reed item request in the library catalog to have books put on the library hold shelf for you. If you need something right away, ask at the circulation or reference desks for assistance.

Can I still access the books and journals?

All books will remain available in the library for your use.

Bound journals, the Reediana collection, and a small collection of government documents will be stored off campus during the construction. If you need an article from a journal, please make an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request.

Will it be noisy?

The noisiest part of construction will take place during winter break 2021-2022, but we expect some level of noise throughout the project. We will work with the contractor to limit disturbances whenever possible.

What will happen with thesis desks?

We will create “Thesis Zones” in the North Reference room and on Level 2 with unassigned, open seating for students doing thesis work. Assigned shelving will be available to store books. Free lockers in the library are also available for all students for secure storage.

I have more questions about library services during the construction...

We’re here to help! Ask a librarian, or contact your subject librarian.

Who should I contact if I have overall questions about the project?

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

Steven W. Yeadon
Director of Facilities Operations
Physical Plant