Library Updates Furniture, Carpet and Installs New Equipment

library stacks

New carpet was installed under the stacks on the McDermott Library's third floor. The stacks were lifted for the project without removing the books from the shelves.

While students were away enjoying winter break, crews were busy updating the McDermott Library. Students returning this semester are the first to enjoy renovated seating, new carpet and equipment.

More than 220 of the high-backed cushioned chairs that fill the second and fourth floors were re-upholstered, as well as a dozen low-backed chairs. Forty-two new red chairs were purchased for the Information Commons area.

New carpet was also installed under the stacks on the third floor. This is only the third time since the library opened that new carpet has been laid there, replacing faded flooring that had been in the library for at least 20 years. It took a six-man crew more than a week to lift the stacks – without removing the books from the shelves – and install new gray carpet. Dr. Ellen Safley, the dean of libraries, said the updates are past due and are in response to rapid growth and the constantly evolving atmosphere at UT Dallas.

“Students need comfortable seating in order to study and do their work. And as we saw more and more students utilizing our space, it became more important than ever that updates were made to ensure an atmosphere conducive to improved learning,” Safley said.

new chairs

Hundreds of chairs in the library have been re-upholstered.

Doug Tomlinson, director of engineering construction and planning, said the enhancements are part of a series of planned library improvements. So far, Tomlinson said, Facilities Management has spent about $250,000 on updates, including expanding rooms and restrooms.

“We had a series of meetings about general things that needed to be done in the library, and we’ve worked with the staff on the priority order of different tasks that need to be done,” Tomlinson said.

In addition to the furniture and carpet, McDermott also has three new express printing terminals in the reference area and new digital cameras, calculators, headphones and charging stations. The two new charging stations, which allow students to connect their phones and other devices, are near Interlibrary Loan and Multimedia Services. The library’s original charging station remains near the reference desk on the second floor.

The express stations, paid for by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, came at the request of the McDermott Student Advisory Group (MSAG), a collective of Comets dedicated to improving library services.

Safley said more improvements are expected this spring.

“There are still needs for more furniture. We’re looking to add more study tables. I’d also like to see us add glass boards, a projector and a 52-inch monitor in one of the rooms on the third floor,” she said. 

If students are interested in joining MSAG, which offers feedback on all library services and collections, they may contact Safley by email.

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