Friday, February 3, 2017

UNO’s Earl K. Long Library Opens Renovated Fourth Floor, Boasting Quieter Study Space and Tech Access for Students, Faculty


University of New Orleans students and faculty seeking quiet study space, access to high-tech computer labs and well-preserved archival materials now have a dedicated resource on the fourth floor of the Earl K. Long Library.

After a little more than a year of construction, the library on Thursday unveiled the newly renovated floor to students, faculty, staff and visitors.

The space boasts quieter study rooms, climate-controlled special collection archives, a Digital Animation Studio, a new exhibits gallery space, offices and meeting space for the Center for Teaching Innovation, a new information literacy classroom and more.

Students can now enjoy group study in 10 conference-style rooms built with sound dampening materials. These spaces include 42-inch wall-mounted displays to which students can connect their laptops for easier collaboration.

“The completion of this project means we’re doing a better job of supporting our students so that they can accomplish their academic goals,” said UNO President John Nicklow before participating in a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Lora Amsberryaugier, interim dean of the library.

Amsberryaugier gave individual thanks to the many people in the library who contributed to the renovation in some way: “Every single faculty, staff member and student worker has been involved in making this project happen,” she said.

Visitors to the floor are greeted by verses from “I Am New Orleans,” a poem by Marcus B. Christian, an acclaimed Louisiana-born African-American poet who taught English and history at the University of New Orleans in the 1970s until his death in 1976 at age 76. During his life, Christian was considered to be the poet-laureate of the New Orleans African-American community.

Beneath the wall-mounted poem at the library is Christian’s now-antique Washington printing press manufactured by R. Hoe & Co. Amsberryaugier said she hopes the display will help to pay tribute to Christian’s work and draw more scholarly attention to his meaningful contributions to the landscape of American literature.

Those seeking to dig through the library’s archives now have ample space in the Louisiana and Special Collections Reading Room and Archive, where librarians now have a dedicated space to process and conserve valuable historical materials. The reading room is equipped with three public-use computers and Amsberryaugier said there are plans to add three more.

“We have researchers from all over the world use our collections and because of the renovation, we will be able to properly care for this material,” Amsberryaugier said.

The renovation also includes:

* library administration offices;

* a UNO Authors Collection, containing published work of current faculty;

* 10 student-use computers in the Digital Animation Studio and a 70-inch wall-mounted monitor;

* an information literacy classroom equipped with 24 laptops and a 70-inch wall-mounted monitor;

* a “quiet computing” computer lab with 20 desktop computers and capacity for more and a 70-inch wall-mounted monitor;

* UNO Extended Campus offices;

* a Friends of the UNO Library office and used book sale room; and

* a gallery exhibit space that will be completed in April.

In addition to representing the center for study and research, the Earl K. Long Library is home to the Privateer Enrollment Center, a one-stop resource located on the library’s first floor where students can get assistance with academic advising, financial aid, admissions, class registration and more.