Now students don’t have to run all over the campus: the new SCC library

A 3-D art piece hanging in the library demonstrating the joy reading can bring
Photo by Martin Musialczyk

By Adelia Sindunata

After being under renovation for the whole summer quarter, SCC’s Ray W. Howard Library finally reopened on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016.

According to Chris Matz, the director of the library, the library has reopened with new carpet, new paint, and a new front desk. In addition, the library has a new arrangement of learning centers – all learning centers are now located in the library.

“Before we closed down in summer, the library was a home to the math learning center and writing studio, and now we also have a biochemistry learning center in addition to those two. We also have an accounting-economics learning center and ESL Conversation Partner program,” Matz said. “We put them together in the library so students don’t need to waste their time to run all over the campus when they need to go to different learning centers.”

According to Dawn Vinberg, the executive director of budget & capital for SCC, the estimated budget for the library renovation was $1,495,000 which also includes “all work underway as well as planned future phases.” From this total, $695,000 comes from the state allocation for this project, and the remaining funds were from the college’s capital reserve fund.

Other than the learning centers, the group study rooms are also the most popular spot for students. According to Matz, the library still has the same number of group study rooms; however, it works slightly different now. Room 4228 will also serve as a part of the tutoring center, and room 4229 will be time-shared with the accounting-economics learning center and the Conversation Partner program from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
While a new learning center is being added to the building, the library also moved some services away.

The Student Identification Card service and the ATM are relocated to the PUB; the former is now located in the bookstore, and the latter is located in front of it. According to Matz, the reason why they moved the student ID card service to the bookstore is because the college has been considering many additional functions to the card.

“The PUB is a good central location when those functions are realized, while in the library, students can only use it to print their assignments and check out books,” Matz said. “This relocation of service [will] help students and employees think of the ID card as something more than printing and library check out.”

While for the ATM, the reason was pretty simple – Matz said that it was relocated because students will use their money more at the bookstore rather than in the library. Thus, according to his opinion, it was better to relocate the ATM closer to the place where students will most likely spend their money.

Batsuld Bazarragchaa, an international student from Mongolia, was a frequent visitor of the SCC library prior to the renovation. According to Bazarragchaa, he visited the library almost every weekday.

“[The new library is] pretty good, especially the new group study room and the quiet study area,” Bazarragchaa said. “It has a good atmosphere to study and [it is] more open.”

Krishna Nararya, an 18-year-old student studying astrophysics who is also a frequent visitor of the library, has a different opinion about the new library.

“Personally, I don’t feel like the library is different,” Nararya said. “Maybe they did change few things, but for me, it’s still the same library I used to go before the renovation.”

However, in contrast to the other two students, there are also some people who preferred the old library.

“The library used to have these bookshelves between the quiet study space and the regular study space, so we know where to stop talking, but it’s not there anymore,” said Alessandra Wei, a student from Taiwan. “It’s annoying – I don’t know if it’s still okay to talk in the second floor.”

Despite the differences between students’ opinions about the new library, Matz said that they will still complete the remaining parts of library that are under construction.

“Our next plan is to finish the construction of the casual learning area at 4237 and the new front desk,” Matz said.

Below are the service hours of the SCC Library:
Monday through Thursday: 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Noon to 6:00 p.m.

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