Snell Library’s New Look

The library’s newly renovated first-floor features new collaborative workrooms, modern furniture, a revamped InfoCommons, and a consolidated help and information desk—all designed to provide resources and flexibility to meet students’ needs. Photo by Brooks Canaday.

Photo Slideshow:  Then and now

Stu­dents returned to campus this semester to Snell Library ’s trans­formed first floor, which now includes more than 20 new col­lab­o­ra­tive work­rooms, a redesigned Info­Com­mons and main lobby, and informal study spaces with modern fur­ni­ture that offer a range of seating and desk options.

The ren­o­va­tions, per­formed this summer, were designed to offer more col­lab­o­ra­tive work envi­ron­ments and the flex­i­bility to meet stu­dents’ needs. The first-floor’s new cutting-​​edge work­space emu­lates the look and feel of the inno­v­a­tive Dig­ital Media Com­mons one floor above. Launched last year, the DMC is a media lab and dig­ital cre­ativity center where stu­dents and fac­ulty can uti­lize a range of tech­nolo­gies, such as new ani­ma­tion, audio and visual editing, 3-​​D mod­eling, and game-​​design software.

The main lobby also fea­tures a con­sol­i­dated help and infor­ma­tion desk that now serves as a “one-​​stop shop” to check out books, reserve mul­ti­media equip­ment, receive com­puter assis­tance, and more. In addi­tion, new printing sta­tions are dis­trib­uted throughout the floor and new swipe-​​in sta­tions make it easier to enter and exit the library.

The library’s trans­for­ma­tion has gen­er­ated con­sid­er­able buzz on Twitter and other social media plat­forms. “To say I’m over­whelmed by the ren­o­va­tions at @ClubSnell would be a huge under­state­ment,” wrote @YaBoyConnell, while @HannahEliz15 tweeted , “It’s offi­cial. The new DMC at @ClubSnell is the coolest thing ever. #inlove”.

Others like @TheCurious_guy tweeted , “Looking at all the inno­va­tion @ClubSnell I feel like I have gone 20 years ahead into the future.” Another Twitter user, @emiliiss, remarked , “You know you love your school when you spend your night showing off pic­tures of your new library like a proud parent.”

In an effort to increase and opti­mize capacity, Snell Library class­rooms have also been relo­cated to a new class­room wing fea­turing its own entry; new audio/​visual infra­struc­ture designed to sup­port group learning; and immer­sive teaching through upgraded tech­nology, including lec­ture cap­ture and video­con­fer­encing. Addi­tional seating and tables on the third floor have pro­vided more than 80 new seats for study space.

Next month, a novel 3-​​D printing studio with con­sumer– and pro­fes­sional grade 3-​​D mod­eling and cre­ation tech­nology will open in the Dig­ital Media Com­mons. There, users will be able to print in plastic, plaster, and acrylic in full color and high-​​resolution.

The DMC is cur­rently under­going an expan­sion that is expected to be com­pleted later this fall. In addi­tion to new fourth-​​floor study spaces for grad­uate stu­dents, the expan­sion will include a new Dig­ital Schol­ar­ship Commons—an inte­grated ser­vice point for fac­ulty, doc­toral stu­dents, and others to access a range of high-​​level ser­vices for dig­ital schol­ar­ship, teaching, and research. The sup­port center is the result of a part­ner­ship between Snell Library, Infor­ma­tion Tech­nology Ser­vices, and the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research .