With the start of a new semester comes a new entrance to the main library of North Dakota State.
After a year of processing, planning and construction, the library’s entrance has been improved to accommodate mobility concerns and to be a more inspiring space to students and staff.
NDSU Libraries has an intricate history full of replacement and renovation. Campus’s original library was built in 1905. It was named Carnegie Library, now known as Putnam Hall.
A new, modern library was constructed in 1950 after the university was urged to adjust to the increasing number of students.
In the 1970s, the university required even more space and a large addition to the building created the infrastructure students recognize today.
“We are really aware that as enrollment grows, we are going to see more bodies in this building, and we’re trying to think ahead about spaces and how to make those available to students in the future,” said Bridget Burke, dean of libraries.
Annual fall term enrollment data reported a steady increase in student enrollment with 2014 marking the highest enrollment number in NDSU history at 14,747 students.
Along with the renovations, students are equipped with new spaces and furniture.
“Seeing that mix of furniture, we can see the support for quiet, independent study and also group study,” Burke said.
The library offers a group study area in the basement along with numerous individual study rooms. Burke said the number of individual study rooms checked out in 2015 reached 9,904, an increase of 420 from the previous year.
“We seem to be meeting some real needs that students have by having a range of study spaces available,” Burke said.
Students have noticed the changes.
“I think library renovations are long overdue because the basis of an outstanding university like NDSU should always focus on academics first,” said Mariah Bartholomay, a graduate student in the sociology department.
Other construction projects on campus completed to provide improved spaces include campus’s new STEM building, the renovation of collaborative work areas in the Quentin Burdick Building and renovations to the Union Dining Center.
The Libraries will be hosting a grand reopening for its entrance at 2 p.m. Friday.