Massive overhaul coming to Undergraduate Library computer lab

Senior Sean Murphy noticed the “change is coming” signs in the Undergraduate Library for the first time Thursday, but was confused about what “change” meant.

Officials from Information Technology Services hope students are left pleased, not puzzled, after the upcoming renovations to the library’s basement.

During fall break, ITS will conduct a four-day renovation of the bottom floor of the library, creating more study space for students.

Kim Vassiliadis, instructional design and technology librarian, said ITS will revamp the computer lab with more iMacs and remove old furniture to replace it with new, more comfortable furniture.

She said the fresh look is designed to create a welcoming environment for group work, while also accommodating students who wish to work alone.

“We’ve got plans in place to really be able to pull the old out and put the new in by the time students return on (Oct. 24),” Vassiliadis said.

“I think (the lab) will look a lot more inviting, and that you’ll want to be down there.”

ITS will cover the $65,000 cost of the renovations, said Jeremiah Joyner, manager of ITS labs and systems. Joyner said the cost falls within the department’s current budget.

Joyner said the part-time student staff that monitors the computer lab in the library will be eliminated to help cover the costs.

He said the renovations will reduce the amount of computers from 70 to 30, which will cut replacement costs. Of the 30 computers, 10 will be 27-inch iMacs.

Suchi Mohanty, collections and research librarian for the Undergraduate Library, said the renovations were inspired by student feedback.

“Right now, we have a lot of students asking where they can find more study space, and we’re hoping to fill that need,” she said.

Joyner said most students currently use the library’s computer lab from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and that the goal of ITS is to make it a place that students use 24 hours a day.

He added that he hopes students begin to view the basement as a place to study with their laptops.

Some students have expressed positive reactions to the library’s impending changes.

Murphy, an environmental science major, said he plans to use the new computer lab for studying.

“The renovations sound great,” Murphy said. “More study space sounds like a good idea.”

Sophomore Jeremy Knowlton said he was looking forward to the renovations.

“I’m ecstatic to hear that we’re upgrading to Macs and that I’ll have more room to procrastinate,” Knowlton said.

Contact the University Editor at university@dailytarheel.com.

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