The Sonoma State University library is hosting interactive events beginning Sept. 4 and students are invited to collaborate on where the library is headed in terms of space, multimedia use and the library’s website.
The library has three floors and two wings on each floor as well as an art gallery and display area. Opened in August 2000, the facility covers 215, 000 square feet and holds 50,000 feet of shelving.
According to the library website, it cost $41.5 million to build and the majority of that funding came from the state of California. The library is home to SSU’s information technology, center for distributed learning, writing center, faculty center, center for community engagement and the Charlie Brown’s Café.
“We’re working on a lot of different projects,” said Web Services Librarian Laura Krier. “We’re looking at redesigning some of the space. We’re constantly working at redesigning the website.”
Krier expects students to share both positive and negative feedback about the library and its services in order to make improvements that benefit everyone.
“We need to know what students want in order to make sure we’re making the right choices. We thought about a lot of different ways we could get students involved. We thought the best way to go about it would be to host a series of drop in events where people could come for about an hour and engage in specific activities,” Krier said.
The exchange of ideas was implemented last spring and Krier thinks it is important to have students informally share ideas and be active in planning the library’s future direction.
“We’re looking at some renovation projects, some new furniture, some new multimedia pods. We’re really open-ended and we want to know what students want when they come in here,” said Krier.
In terms of the budget for the new renovations, Krier stated that they are still in the “idea phase” of the plan. After Krier and her colleagues gather more ideas by collaborating with students, they will subsequently assign the necessary funds.
“I feel like it could definitely have some positive impact on our library,” said senior Noah Marquez. “I’m a senior and I’ve been coming to this library for the past four years and I love this library. It’s a great space, a nice space to come do your work. Not only for that, but also to get help from the writing center. I can definitely see students taking advantage of this space in a good way.”
Krier also hopes to do the events every semester and to add a loyalty club in which students would get early notices of new books and invitations for special events.
Also, technology is in focus and Krier is open for partnerships with the computer science department to create internships with the students from those departments in order to help the library build new tools.
“I think that it should be open later on the weekends. I know that sucks for employees but a lot of the times we do stuff during the day. So I think just the hours and all the floors being open until midnight and not just the first floor. The library brings us all of our customers. I just think it needs to be open or available more often,” said senior and Charlie Brown Café employee Kayla Hassen.
Krier is open to later hours for the library but she said the cost of staffing is the only thing that would come between the idea and its implementation.
Students are encouraged to attend these events and can learn more on SSU’s library website as well as contact Laura Krier at firstname.lastname@example.org. The events run from Sept. 4 through Sept. 23 in the library and students will receive food and drinks as well as collaborate with librarians.