Finishing Touches to Library Renovation Include New Furniture, Larger Restrooms

McDermott Library

Shounak Kulkarni, a computer science senior, and Anubhuti Rawat, an information technology and management graduate student, take advantage of the new study spaces in the Eugene McDermott Library.

Like the rest of campus, the Eugene McDermott Library has undergone a series of changes. The latest is new furniture and shelving on the second floor, resulting in a new look for the 40-year-old library.

Students now can study in fabric-covered carrels with desks, curved lounge seating, comfy chairs with ottomans, armless chairs, round tables and tall tables with high chairs.

“When we started working on this renovation project, the interior designer and I wanted to give students furniture that looked completely different,” said Dr. Ellen Safley, dean of libraries. “This space has a modern yet simple look. It’s inviting. I think we accomplished our goal.”

Melody Sun, interior designer for UT Dallas, spent many hours working with Safley and library administration selecting pieces, patterns and furnishings.

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Let the library administration know what you think of the recent renovations. See the upgrade process from start to finish and leave your comments on this Facebook photo album.

“The goal was to create a refreshing and inviting space where students would enjoy spending their time,” Sun said. “Whether it be private study or collaborative teamwork, students should be able to find an appropriate space with the various types of furniture and configurations.”

Each piece of furniture serves a purpose. The curved lounge seating and bookcase add visual interest and flow to the space. The trellises help guide the flow of library visitors, as well as help divide the different areas. The pinwheel tablet arm chairs provide a private area to work that doesn't take up much space. The lounge chairs, ottomans and computer bars have a coffee house vibe. Some of the new furniture has power outlets — a hot commodity for students.

“Electronic devices play a major role in the study process. If you can’t plug in your laptop, it becomes a problem,” Safley said. “This furniture is a smart option. The items that don’t have outlets are positioned near wall outlets so students can still plug in.”

The bathrooms on the second floor of the library also received a makeover. The two men’s restrooms were combined into one significantly larger facility, as were the two women’s restrooms on that floor. New tiling, lighting, countertops and sink hardware give the bathrooms a classic look that fits with the other renovations and the overall look of the library. Crews continue to work on renovations to the first-floor restrooms, which are scheduled to open in December.

In the spring 2015 semester, the library also upgraded its carpet, Services Desk, lighting and stairs.

Starting Monday, library customers will be able to use two charging lockers, each equipped with eight individual drawers for electronic devices. Each drawer works like a safe, designed to store, charge and secure smartphones, laptops and tablets. Users can set their own code with the digital keypad lock.

“Customers come to the library because of our resources. They stay because we’ve created a visually appealing, comfortable space conducive to learning,” Safley said. “We’re a major part of campus life. Keeping up with our customers’ needs is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a progressive academic space, and we hope to make more updates in the library as funds become available.”

McDermott Library

Accounting graduate student Mayiyang Zhang charges his devices while catching up on work.

Interlibrary Loan System Delivers Rapid Results

A new addition to Interlibrary Loan Services at the Eugene McDermott Library is improving delivery times for customers. In the past, it took three to five days to receive journal articles from another library. Now, customers can get articles in less than 24 hours from more than 200 libraries.

Rapid ILL (interlibrary loan) is a highly automated, two-way borrowing/lending system that quickly performs labor-intensive tasks. Requests to borrow or lend books are submitted through the online system and the computer does the rest. This allows staff to focus on other tasks instead of searching for requested materials.

Travis Goode

“This service connects our library to other libraries throughout the world,” said Travis Goode, head of Interlibrary Loan Services. ”We have access to their materials within one day. Whatever we don’t own, we can obtain through Rapid very quickly.”

All UT Dallas faculty, staff and students can request books, articles and other materials from other libraries through ILL at no cost. Customers cannot request currently assigned textbooks, course reserves or books and multimedia owned by the McDermott library. Materials such as movies, music, genealogical material, books published before 1900, and best-sellers are harder to obtain through ILL, but requests can be submitted.

Since January, the library increased its lending to other libraries and borrowed more than 1,300 items through Rapid. The turnaround time for borrowed articles averaged 11 hours.

When a request is filled, ILL users receive an email with a link to download the article PDF. Rapid articles expire after 30 days.

Materials that can’t be filled through Rapid are filled using the traditional ILL system. This includes books, dissertations, book chapters, conference papers, microfilm, etc. The wait time for these materials is typically five to 10 days. Physical items such as books are placed on hold at the services desk when they arrive. The due date is set by the lending library.

For now, the McDermott library only borrows and lends journal articles through Rapid, but Goode said expanding requests to include book chapters is a future goal.

Goode said he is impressed with the results.

“We’ve heard from a lot of students and faculty, and the comments about Rapid are really good. It’s nice to get those positive comments."

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].