New changes at Farley Library hope to improve accessibility to all

Abbey Haldeman, Assistant news editor

nstruction in 2010 with the creation of the Alden Learning Commons the first part of a four-phase journey began.

This year the process to modernize the Eugene S. Farley library is continuing as they come to a close with phase two out of four: the remodeling of the front entranceway.

With the installation of the new handicapped entrance, everybody will be able to come in through the front door. The new ramp allows for those who used to not be able to access the library through the front door to now be able too. The new doors are automatic and allow for easy entry.

Farley library has also opened up the Alden Learning Commons 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to students.

“It was always kind of in the back of my mind when we created the Alden Commons but I couldn’t quit rally enough support around it,” John Stachecz, dean of library services, said about the 24-hour access system.

However, after hearing some discussion of the possibility of closure in computer labs, the thought resurfaced. With the cost being relatively small and generous donations made by Student Government and Dr. Harold E. Cox, the 24-hour access began.

With a grant given to them by Student Government, the university established a means of security throughout the building without staffing Farley through the entire night.

Security cameras run in different areas and are fed directly to the Public Safety office. A public safety officer makes their way through the library once every hour. There is also an emergency telephone located in the Alden Learning Commons.

“I think it is probably as safe as we can make it,” Stachecz stated.

An issue some students may find with the 24-hour access is that it is not technically handicapped accessible. For those who need access the library after hours and use the elevator, Public Safety officers are available to come allow you access to the elevator and walk you through the building to reach the Alden Learning Commons.

Likewise, when leaving the library, they are available to escort students from the basement to the exit. At this point, the addition of a handicapped accessible entrance being put in just isn’t in the budget for the University but nothing is written in stone yet.

Students seem to be appreciative of the advantages the 24-hour access is giving to them.

Sophomore biology major Adoma Yeboah is one of those pleased with having 24-hour access to the library.

“The 24-hour access to the library is a great addition to the new 2012 school year,” Yeboah said. “I feel that it is another reliable venue to study, finish assignments as well as get papers printed. Essentially, the 24-hour access to the library sets no time limit to the way a student works.”

While Yeboah told The Beacon she has not had a chance to use it, she is looking forward to it during the next few weeks.

This is something the library was looking for with the addition of 24-hour access, availability for students who struggle to make it to the library during its 93 hours a week of operation.

The 24-hour entrance, on the southwest corner of the building is accessible by a swipe card system similar to those used in dorms. All students, faculty and staff are able to make use of the area.

The original goal was for the finishing touches to be put on the entrance before the installation of President Leahy.  Remodels were put on hold for a while due to damages in the doors that were delivered.

A big difference in the entrance came not through means of renovation, but rule changes.  The front entrance will now be a smoke free zone due to large amounts of complaints from students.

“It is a cost-effective way to give additional service to the students and faculty,” Stachecz said.

At the beginning of the fall semester some difficulties came to place with printing in the library.  These problems have been solved with the installation of new high capacity printers.  On top of that, there was an additional high capacity color printer added to the library.

While renovations aren’t complete, the steps in the right direction are being made.  The next two phases to take place, will be the replacement of the HVAC system and to refurbish the rest of the floors to match the Alden Learning Commons though times for these to occur are not scheduled.

Stachecz said he really wants students to know that the library listens to their needs.  In a century where people feel libraries are dying, Farley is only growing.