Thirty additional study spaces have been added to Alloway Library without knocking down a single wall. Library staff took a three-pronged approach by reviewing both collections and policies and by collaborating with the TWU Computer Lab. The result was the creation of additional seating capacity in the former Silent Study Area, the former Microform Room and elsewhere on the main level.
In the room that used to house the TWU microform collection, 9 microform filing cabinets and over 850 kg of microfiche were disposed of. The 360, 000 discarded ERIC fiche, most of it duplicated by online resources were sent to Westcoast Plastic Recycling. The remaining 11 microfilm and microfiche cabinets were moved to a new location just outside of their former spot and adjacent to the Periodicals and Magazines collection. That created enough space in the microform room for 9 large study tables, 7 of them next to electrical outlets. With a wall of windows overlooking the Salmon River wetlands and seating for up to 46 researchers in a quiet, enclosed space, the former microform room is a prime spot for collaborative learning projects.
Recognizing the high demand for computer access and Alloway Library's extensive hours of operation, the staff at the computer lab will move 15 computers into the library by the end of the summer. The new Mac workstations (which run Windows) will be located in the area adjacent to the existing workstations on the main level. With them come 27 ergonomic desk chairs for all the computer workstations as well as new printing features, including colour printing and wireless printing from library-users own laptops.
Down on the lower level, the Silent Study Area has been replaced by the Lower Level Study Area. Although library staff will no longer enforce a strict adherence to silence in this area, patrons can still expect reasonable quietness. The policy change allowed us to change the single occupant study rooms into small group study rooms. Later in the fall we expect to have additional power outlets to serve up to 8 more study carrels in the area.
With more study spaces and workstations Alloway Library will continue to be TWU's learning centre.