By SUSAN JONES
The next phase of the Hillman Library renovation is about to start, which means the first and second floors will be closing starting in early July for approximately 18 months.
During this phase, the only entrance into the library will be through the ground-level doors.
When completed, the newly renovated floors will contain:
An expanded and relocated Open Lab
A large, open study area with movable furniture, which can be reconfigured into event space
A significantly expanded indoor/outdoor café
An accessible ramp entrance on the Forbes Avenue side of the building
Several collections and other items have been or will be moved to prepare for the construction. An interactive map on the University Library System’s website identifies where to find things at Hillman.
The East Asian Library and African American collection have been moved to the fourth floor.
The first floor Reference Collection is moving to the third floor. Reference materials published on or before 2005 will be moved to the Thomas Boulevard storage facility unless they have been reviewed for retention or are part of a current standing order or series.
Several items on the ground floors are moving to Thomas Boulevard, including government documents (minus Census materials which are staying in the ground floor compact shelving); print journals (pre-1970); maps and map cases; and microfilm and microfiche
The Ph.D. Dissertation Writing Room and Graduate Study Room on the fourth floor closed in March to prepare for construction on the first and second floors.
This is the third phase of the multi-year project. The renovated fourth floor opened at the beginning of the 2018 fall semester, and the third floor debuted in August 2020.
Originally, construction on the first and second floors was supposed to start in fall 2020, but because of de-densification throughout campus University officials decided it would be a terrible time to make those floors off limits. The library was closed from March to August of 2020 because of the pandemic.
Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal for 2021-22 calls for $16.5 million in capital funds for phase three of the Hillman renovations. The state budget is still making its way through the legislature. The Hillman project, which started in August 2017, has been largely funded with money from the state.
Hillman is currently open to faculty, staff and students from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays through Sundays; and closed during the July 4th holiday weekend.
For more information about the renovation project, see the Hillman Library Reinvention page.
Other library-related questions can be submitted through the Ask Us page on the library system’s website.
Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at email@example.com or 724-244-4042.
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