Students Enjoy Library Renovation

Inver Hills Library
2013 Library Construction

October grand opening showcases technology and space enhancements

Tuesday, Oct. 22, was the day dozens of students, faculty and staff at Inver Hills Community College attended the grand opening of the college’s newly renovated library. Cake and refreshments were served, and the buzz of conversation happily exceeded traditional library guidelines regarding noise production.

“We now have a modern, clean and open space that our students really seem to like,” said Brenda B., one of the college’s three librarians. Brenda added that the renovation included eight new group study rooms that students can reserve in advance as well as a new spacious silent study space, the latter a top item on an informal list of student requests. Outdated carrels and tables were replaced, larger tables that can accommodate student projects were installed, and the library’s capacity to utilize state-of-the-art technology received a significant upgrade. New furniture, better lighting and other appointments give the library the look and feel one student compared to an “Apple Store.”

“Our classroom space was remodeled and includes fifteen additional computer stations for a total of thirty-eight,” Brenda reported. “When library classes are not in session, the classroom functions as an open computer lab. Both the classroom and our group study rooms are equipped with whiteboards and whiteboard paint. On our first day open, a group of chemistry students filled up two walls in one of the study rooms with a chemistry problem. That showed us they are happy with the space.”

Brenda noted that the original design process was augmented by a library staff Pinterest project created by Chad Gilman, a former library technician at Inver Hills. The project employed spitballing, a brainstorming concept favored by entertainment professionals. Story ideas are flung at random into the mix just to see which idea, or spitball, will stick. To learn more, visit Library Design Spitballing on Pinterest.

Librarian Ann Schroder is excited by the way students are not only drawn to the new library, but also seem to have a stronger appreciation for the tranquil atmosphere promoted by the library’s updated design. “Students are just naturally quieter,” she said. “They like the idea of having a place they can go to study without distractions.”

Ann added that the dust and gloom of the old library are long gone. “We’ve made it to the 21st century,” she said. “One student made a point of telling me that he liked the new technology and high design.”

That same student also showed that he was pleased with an age-old boon of libraries everywhere. He was busy checking out actual hard-copy books.

You can contact the Inver Hills Community College Library in a number of ways, including:

In Person: Stop by the library and ask any librarian for assistance.
By Phone: Call 651-450-3625 during library hours.
By Instant Message: Research assistance by instant message, e-mail or phone is available only during library hours. If library staff are offline, please leave questions and contact information in the chatbox or e-mail a librarian directly.
By E-mail: Library Staff. A librarian or library technician will try their best to reply to your message within one business day.

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