Renovated Mudd Library features expanded study space, new research tools


(Colin Boyle/Daily Senior Staffer)

The newly renovated interior of Mudd Library, 2233 Tech Drive. After 18 months under construction, the North Campus library reopened last week to offer expanded study spaces and technological resources.

Maddie Burakoff, Assistant Campus Editor

More than one year after closing for construction, Mudd Science and Engineering Library reopened last week with new technology and “rejuvenated” workspaces for students and faculty, Mudd Library operations coordinator Danielle Cotrone said.

The goal for the renovations was to provide resources for all types of work, whether collaborative or solo, Cotrone said.

“No matter what you’re doing on campus with your own work or professional studies, you’re always looking for someone to bounce ideas off of, someone to work on a project with,” Cotrone said. “Having space where students can work quietly on their own, in addition to having space where students can work together, is important.”

Cotrone said the renovations added more study spaces and rooms with different furniture and technology to meet varying needs. Two active learning classrooms and a video recording studio will be available to students soon, she said.

A “Makerspace,” set to open in early 2018, will provide 3-D printing technology and other tools for building prototypes, said Drew Scott, a spokesman for University Libraries. The library also includes a Geographic Information System lab like the one found at Main Library, which can help with data visualization projects, Scott said.

“What we’re hoping is that we’re making it more visible, easier to find and easier to stumble into,” Scott said. “You’re going to have more students find creative ways to put it to use.”

The library now only occupies the second floor of the building instead of its former three-floor spread, Scott said, but its overall “footprint” is now larger. The library now uses “high-density shelving” and keeps more books in storage instead of on the floor, Scott said, which opens up room for study spaces.

The renovation process began when Northwestern added a cutting-edge lab on the first floor, Scott said. As the building began to change, the library “went along for the ride,” he said.

Weinberg and Bienen senior Christine Liu said though she thought the library had been functional before renovations, the updates have made it more “chic.”

“I really love the study space currently,” Liu said. “It’s really bright and airy, and has a lot of great features and study rooms.”

Cotrone said she hopes the renovations will help students and staff appreciate Mudd Library as a “teaching and learning center” in addition to a study space. She said many students, especially those on North Campus, missed having a library closer to home, and she is excited for Mudd to become a “hub” for North Campus.

The library is open “24/5,” meaning it stays open from Sunday morning until Friday night, Scott said. It only closes from midnight to 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, according to its website. Additionally, the study lounge on the north end of the building is always available for students, even when the rest of the library is closed, he said.

“Even if we aren’t here providing research services all those hours, the fact that there’s a space open for those people during just about any hour they could want is a relief to many people,” Scott said. “They just have this port in a storm — in their hour of need, there’s going to be a library open for them.”

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