Changes in College Library, Fall 2011

College Library thrives on keeping things current and making changes to improve services and spaces in an ongoing manner. We try to respond to needs of library users and, room by room, work to add electical outlets, update furniture, and keep our collections interesting and in useful locations. College Library has also expanded its partnerships with student academic services and instruction initiatives, bringing multiple approaches to helping students learn within the library. Occasionally, the library also requires general upkeep to maintain this 40-year old building.

During 2011, there are many projects going on and many things within the library have moved. Here is an overview of the many changes and projects you may have seen happen or are witnessing right now!

Collection/Services moves

Magazines & CDs in Open Book Collection (room 1250)

The magazines are now all shelved in room 1250 as part of the Open Book Collection. Based on student feedback about visibility and preferred location, in January 2011 we moved the current issues of magazines to browsing shelves as part of the recreational collections, along with DVDs, video games, mysteries, science fiction, travel books as more. In May, the back issues of the magazines were added to room 1250 as well, allowing you to find issues from the past 12 months in addition to the most current issue. Magazine titles formerly located in the Ethnic Studies collection are now intershelved with the general magazine collection in 1250. As part of this move, the library also decided no longer to keep the full run of the five magazine titles we had bound volumes for: People Weekly, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, and Sports Illustrated. Use of these older bound volumes was very low and non-duplicated volumes were moved to Memorial or the Historical Society Library.

In addition, music CDs have moved from the Computer and Media Center (CMC) into two spinning rack within Open Book. As with the magazine collection, students suggested that we move the CDs into Room 1250 so that recreational items were housed together. Look for your favorite tunes there.

Women’s Collection in room 2191

In order to make room for WisCEL activities in room 3250 (see below) the Women’s Collection has moved to the quiet study room on 2nd floor, room 2191. This collection supports the Gender & Women’s Studies program and includes titles about women’s health concerns and topics such as abortion, women and welfare, body image and women-related family issues like childcare. Works by and about women authors, artists and musicians are collected as anthologies or criticism identified as pertaining to women’s or feminist issues. Books by or about individuals in the literary and fine arts are only selected if they are considered foundational works. Books on all these topics, which would be scattered throughout the library collection, are presented in the Women’s Collection to encourage browsing by undergraduates seeking to expand their appreciation of women’s lives and experiences.

Main Collection in room 1191

For the past two years, the main collection has been split between rooms 1191 and 3191. Due to an extended effort to weed the collection of older titles no longer seeing use, along with expanding the shelving available in room 1191, the entire collection now fits on the first floor. We think the main collection is now easier to use, with the full Library of Congress classification (A to Z) in one room.

Lockers now on 1st floor · expanded hours

We are now offering a 12-hour locker check-out. The lockers were located on the 2nd floor near the elevators and the key check-out was done at the 1st floor circulation desk. Based on feedback of the inconvenience of the location, we have moved the lockers to the elevator alcove on the 1st floor.

Building work

Concrete restoration

After 40 years of service, the concrete of the Helen C. White building has started to weaken. Last spring there were a couple of scary instances of crumbled concrete falling off the structure. In order to make the building safe for everyone, Building Restoration Corporation has been hired to repair any weakening concrete on the exterior of the building. They began their work in August and will take several months to cover the entire exterior of the building, all floors, on all sides. This work is noisy as they use drills to clear away materials before patching and sealing the exterior. While the noise is distracting to those using Helen C. White (all seven floors, not just College Library!) and the construction trailer is taking up valuable bike parking space in the courtyard, we know that everyone agrees that this important work must be done. Safety first!

“Curtain wall” replacement

Also suffering from 40 years of hard work: the doors to College Library. The metal and glass framework that makes up the “curtain wall” entry to the library, covering all three floors above and around the entry and stairwells, has reached a point of structural failure in that the doors no longer can be aligned. They have been repaired countless times and ultimately need a complete replacement in order to function properly. Because the doorway structure is fully integrated into the entire three stories of glass, this “curtain wall” as a whole needs to be replaced.This work began in early November. Secure (and warm!) entry and exit will be maintained throughout the project, as will one open.

Instructional Initiatives


The Wisconsin Collaboratory for Enhanced Learning (WisCEL) is an approach to learning environments that focuses on active, collaborative and spontaneous learning with frequent, immediate and individualized assistance by instructors. The curriculum transformations and teaching staff needed to provide this type of learning approach are funded by the Madison Initiative for Undergraduates (MIU). There are two spaces being created to support this learning, one in Wendt Commons and one in College Library. WisCEL activity will be going on in a newly remodeled room 3250 starting in November. Several sections of Math have been piloting the WisCEL approach in a corner of the Computer & Media Center in room 2250 for the past year. When room 3250 is ready, those pilot sections will move into the new space. While instructional activity will occur in room 3250 during certain hours of the day, the room will be open for general access use, both for studying and for computer use. Featuring breakout rooms in a variety of sizes, space designed for consultations, an active learning lab, and a lounge space, room 3250 will be transformed into a multi-purpose library space with something for everyone. With views of Lake Mendota and the Memorial Union Terrace, this space will soon become *the* place to be in College Library. More information on WisCEL.

Media Studios

For the past two years, classes that use digital media assignments and collaborative digital projects have been meeting in room 2191E of College Library in a space called “Media Studio.” The classroom offers multiple projectors, movable furniture, high-end computing and space designed to maximize collaborative work. Tucked away in the back of room 2191 behind the group study rooms, the Media Studio is not situated to support use by others outside of the classes that meet there. With support from the Digital Studies Initiative, also funded by the MIU, expansion of the Media Studio is now possible. Remodeling of room 2250 will begin as soon as room 3250 is open for general use. The new CMC will include two adjoining Media Studio classrooms that can also be combined into one larger room. This allows the Media Studio space to be open and available for others to use when classes are not in session.


Modeled after the very successful Writing Center, DesignLab is a service to offer guidance and instruction that addresses aesthetic, composition and design aspects of various digital projects. Students have excellent instruction on using software available through DoIT’s Software Training for Students (STS) and on-site technology support in InfoLabs across campus, but nothing is currently in place that helps students understand and learn the compositional aspects of a well-designed project. DesignLab digital compositional support will be located in room 2250 alongside the Media Studio classrooms, general access computing and the software training classroom. As with WisCEL and Media Studio activity, some reserved hours of the day will see DesignLab use of space in room 2250 with general access to the consultation spaces available at all other hours. More information on DesignLab.

Room 2250 (Computer & Media Center)

Room 2250 will see several phases of remodeling occur over the next year to allow for the addition of the Media Studio and DesignLab and to update and improve general access computing and the classroom where software instruction is provided. As soon as room 3250 is open from its remodeling project, the WisCEL sections of Math will move from the second to the third floor. We will close off the north end of room 2250 to begin phase one of remodeling, which is to install the spaces for Media Studio and DesignLab, scheduled to open by the beginning of spring semester. Phase two includes replacing the Help Desk and remodeling the entry area, which will occur over winter break. Phase three will be a complete update of the general access individual computers and a remodeling of the software instruction classroom (2257). Phase three will occur during summer 2012. Because room 3250 will be used for only a few sections of WisCEL Math, the overflow from the second floor computer lab use can easily be accommodated by the 90 computers in the active learning lab on the third floor.

Study Space

Using room 3250 for WisCEL activity allows us to increase the overall use of a room with wonderful views. Formerly the “Silent Study” room, we know that room 3250 had regular users seeking that kind of individualized study with the least amount of distractions. Use of this room, however, was only at capacity during exam times. Silent Study is now available on the south side of room 3191 while the north end of 3191 is still Quiet Study. With the book stacks removed, all of the study tables from 3250 were moved into 3191, adding seating capacity in that room. We intend to switch room 3191 into *all* Silent Study for final exam weeks to accommodate the extra demand. By this time, room 3250 will be open for general use and a wide variety of study space will be available.


The staff of College Library are very aware of the inconveniences presented by multiple construction and remodeling projects within the library. We hope that everyone can see the improvements on tap and be willing to endure these temporary distractions of noise and limitations of study space with an eye toward the future benefits all of this will bring to the library. Questions can be sent to the College Library Director, Carrie Kruse.