Facilities Update

  • New Rockford library
  • Improvements for Daley and LHS-Chicago
  • Elevators to be replaced at Daley and Warehouse

The Board of Trustees approved this week the expansion of the National Center for Rural Health Professions in Rockford. The 58,000 square foot addition will include space for a new Library. Library staff in Rockford will be spending exciting time over the next several years planning the details for the new facility, while Library Development, in collaboration with development colleagues in Rockford, will be busy helping raise funds.

From focus groups for TV2010 to LibQual responses, we have heard from students, faculty, and staff how uncomfortable and inadequate our library facilities are. In response to these concerns, we are taking a number of steps to begin to create a better environment for all. Some of the actions we are taking this year are:

We will be having the windows in LHS and the Daley Library washed just before classes start. We hope that will give us all a fresh perspective—at least for a few months!

Some new chairs have been ordered for public spaces in LHS-Chicago. In conversations with the health sciences students, chairs were identified as the highest priority for Library improvements.

We have begun the process of hiring an architectural firm to work with us on what are called “palettes” for both Daley and LHS. The firm will help us identify the color schemes, furniture types, wood finishes, carpet, and lighting that we will choose from as we improve various areas in the libraries over the next decade. These will most likely be different palettes for the two buildings. Since we are not likely to find a donor soon who is interested in renovation of an entire building, the palette will allow us to make changes gradually and end up with a consistent look and feel to the buildings in the end.

Reference, Circulation, and Collections Management are working to clear some space on the 2nd floor of Daley to allow seating areas where shelving has been. We hope this will be in place by the time school starts. We are also looking at other areas in Daley to reclaim space for users. We plan for some of these spaces to be furnished with comfortable oasis-type seating, once our palettes are determined. We will be looking for similar spaces at LHS, as well.

All of the Daley Library elevators’ hydraulic systems and cars will be replaced beginning in August and continuing for approximately six months. This includes the four public elevators and the freight elevator in the loading dock area.  Thyssen Krup, the contractor for this project, began work the south-most elevator (#1).  At times during the project period, two elevators may be out of service at the same time.  We will post notices on the elevator call button panels when elevators are out of service.

The elevator in the Laflin Warehouse also is scheduled for repair during 2007.