On April 20, Stan State library staff hosted a Zoom meeting to share their plans for the opening of the newly renovated Vasche Library and to answer questions from the campus community.
The aim for the new Vasche Library is to turn the building into a “one-stop-shop” for student needs.
“It’s a much more efficient use of space than ever before,” said Ronald Rodriguez, Dean of Library Services.
The efficient use of space includes an increased number of work rooms, such as study spaces, multiple computer zones, and an event room that can hold up to 100 individuals. There will also be a new special collections area which will contain University archives. To top it all off, students will also be able to visit a new cafe located within the library for any refreshments they may want while studying.
Additionally, many of the services that had to move out of Vasche Library during the renovation process will be making a return.
The Stan State Learning Commons will be back to support all students during their studies along with Disability Resource Services to assist those with disabilities and provide equal opportunities for those who may need additional assistance. The library will also be the new home to the Warrior Cross Cultural Center who, according to their page on the Stan State website, work to “foster critical consciousness by developing intentional programs aimed at liberating the voices of marginalized students and the campus community.”
The Technology Support Desk will also be set up in the library once again to provide help to anyone on campus with their technology needs. The Academic Success Center will also be available nearby to assist with advising for undergraduate and graduate students.
With all these services coming in, it’s understandable that the move back into Vasche won’t be immediate. Departments like the Office of Information Technology (OIT) are planning to move in first, slowly followed by the other offices. It is planned for the building to have a “staggered soft opening,” as Rodriguez put it.
Librarian Annie Hor also highlighted that getting the library itself set up will take a good amount of time as well. “We have 90 percent of all our books in remote storage,” she said. She explained that the time to retrieve these books will likely take the majority of the month of August.
Considering the amount of new services entering the building and the amount of setting up that needs to take place, there will be a need to hire new student employees. There also needs to be time for all the existing employees in these departments to get used to the new layout. All this points to a likelihood of the building not fully being open until the fall semester.
Despite all this, Rodriguez and Hor are very optimistic about the campus being able to access the newly renovated Vasche Library this upcoming semester. There are also plans for an official, formal opening sometime later in the year and for there to be virtual tours.
Even with the likelihood of some form of social distancing being in place for the remainder of this year, it looks like most students will soon be able to experience the campus’ new library and all the services it will have to offer.