Mudd Library to close for 18 months starting Spring Quarter


Jeffrey Wang/The Daily Northwestern

Mudd Science and Engineering Library, located near the Technological Institute, is scheduled to close March 25 for renovations. During the renovations, Mudd Library’s print collections will be relocated to Northwestern’s Oak Grove Library Center, from which students will be able to request materials for next-day delivery.

Kelli Nguyen, Reporter

Mudd Science and Engineering Library is closing its doors March 25 for an 18-month renovation to expand its facilities, officials said.

The construction, which has already begun on the areas surrounding Mudd library, will expand the building to accommodate additional lab space as well as a reconfigured library. Mudd is projected to reopen in August 2017, said Geoffrey Swindells, head of the User Experience Department at Northwestern University Library.

“The University initiated the project because they want to increase our capabilities in the sciences, especially in lab space on campus,” Swindells said. “A vital need the University has is to remain current both in research and teaching.”

In addition to lab space, the new Mudd Library will feature two active learning classrooms that emphasize collaborative work over lecturing, Swindells said.

“There are very few of those on campus so far and it’s the trend in teaching,” Swindells said.

The renovated library will also house a geographic information system lab and maker space, Swindells said. The GIS lab will offer both software and service for students to make digital maps based on data, while the maker space will provide an area for students to collaborate and create projects with tools such as 3D printers, he said.

“That’s one of the things that libraries are all about,” Swindells said. “When we provide services, we provide service to anyone, so it’ll be an exciting space.”

To combat the study space lost during construction, the University is looking into making more study space available in Technological Institute and University Library, Swindells said.

“The main focus of the University is to try to find space in Tech because we realize that it’s the proximity to students that is one of the most valuable things about Mudd Library,” Swindells said.

During the renovations, library resources will still be available, Swindells said. Mudd Library’s print collections will be relocated to NU’s Oak Grove Library Center and students can submit requests to have materials made available to them the next day, he said. They will also still be able to set up meetings with librarians around specific subjects.

“Librarians are all about service so it hurts us when we have to close a point of service,” Swindells said. “We will do everything in our power to create alternatives to minimize the impact that this has on students.”

The library’s closure will displace a lot of students, McCormick junior Lydia Fern said.

However, she is looking forward to seeing the new facilities.

“Mudd is kind of a depressing place and it is always crowded,” Fern said. “I’m excited to see it reopen and see if it’s nicer to study there.”

Mudd Library’s proximity to North Campus dorms makes it a more convenient location than other libraries located farther south, said Weinberg freshman Monica Ha. She frequents Mudd Library around three times a week, she said.

“I am very upset because I live in Mudd,” Ha said. “It’s really inconvenient to have to go all the way south to study.

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