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Future of Study Spaces, Advisement In Science Library Uncertain

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The number of group study spaces to remain on the second floor of Science Library after renovation hasn’t been fleshed out.

With advisement services slated to move into the area with the next year, the future of some study zones is unclear. An undetermined total of group rooms, Facilities Management reported, will remain.

Facilities Management has scouted to create collaborative spaces elsewhere. The former Student Association office, vacated in June, is the only location confirmed vetted so far.

“As you’ve sensed by now, we’re still in scoping mode,” said John Giarrusso, associate vice president of finance and administration in an email about expanding study spaces. “Whatever happens will be a summer 2018 job.”

Current study zones on the floor include 11 rooms, three open study areas, and two rows of desks.

Renovation, expected to be completed before the start of the 2019 spring semester, started over the summer.

“I think it’s still in the works right now,” said Michael Nolan, UAlbany communications specialist, about the location of study spaces on the second floor. “But I think the key to take away from it is that advisement will not be taking up the entire second floor.”

There was an effort last semester from some Science Library staff to maintain study spaces on the second floor. An undated notice from last spring asked students to email Rebecca Mugridge, dean of University Libraries,  with concerns regarding the space.

University Libraries is examining the possibility of providing additional group study rooms in the main library.

Mugridge is hopeful renovation delays will provide an opportunity to reexamine library organization.

“Because of this, the Libraries will continue to be able to offer the group study rooms for the near future, and will have more time to develop plans to better use other library spaces,” she said in an email.

Over the summer, University Libraries merged two desks into one service station and consolidated the reference collection in the main library. Carrels no longer being used after this merger were transferred to the Science Library.

For Miles Gaitan, a computer science and applied mathematics sophomore, the future of second floor study spaces is concerning.

He uses the collaborative space on the second floor two to three times a week. He prefers studying in the Science Library collaborative zone over the University Library.

Gaitan, along with other members of Theta Tau, a professional engineering fraternity, regularly uses the Science Library to fulfill mandated hours. Some members emailed University Libraries last year in hopes of keeping such spaces on the second floor.

“I’d sleep here if I could,” said Gaitan.

Audra Colliton, a senior chemistry student, experienced some renovation shifts over the summer. During that time, periodicals were relocated to the building’s basement.

“[The Science Library] is my favorite library and I don’t like how half of it is advising now,” said Colliton.

Some former staff offices now house Advising Plus, a service to connect students with tutors, moved in around the start of the semester. Second floor library staff were relocated to the University Library.

Advising Plus started in the main library back in 2013. The service moved into the Social Sciences building last year.

Since moving in, the space has been easy for students to locate, said Barbara Brown, coordinator of Advising Plus. Although content with the new space, she remains wary.

“I don’t even know that this is our home,” said Brown. “I don’t know if this is our final move.”

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Tyler A. McNeil is the current managing editor for the Albany Student Press. The Capital Region native previously served as managing editor for The Hudsonian, and as an intern for the Times Union and Capital Tonight.

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