Renovations in Ellender Memorial Library


Photo by: Bettie Tabor

The front of Ellender Memorial Library on November 18th, 2015.

Recently the Ellender Memorial Library has been undergoing some renovations and there are more to come.

Elizabeth Batte, library director, says that many student services are moving and will be offered at the library.

“We’re hoping the different student services will bring students in the library for them to explore it on their own,” Batte said. “That’s kind of my motto, just get students in the door.”

The library will undergo many changes, both the writing center and the tutoring center will be moving from Peltier Hall to the first floor of the library at the end of February, as well as a few new spaces being added.

“We are working on making that space more of a hangout space for students,” Batte said. “We want the first floor to become a general meetup up place for students who have nothing to do between classes or need somewhere to study or eat their lunch.”

On the first floor, they are currently building something called the, “makerspace,” and they are hoping to also add a cafe on the first floor where the computer lab currently is. The cafe will open up to where career services currently exist and where the tutoring and writing centers will be soon.

The makerspace will be a space where students and community members will be able to come and create different things. It will house a woodshop area, sewing machines, cutting machines, 3D printers and many other tools.

Jeremiah Johnson is the director of the makerspace project, which is in conjunction with the Nicholls’ art department, and has been funded by a donor.

Johnson will be training student workers to be experts on the different tools in the space to help whoever comes to use the space. Certification will be required for certain machines in the space.

The makerspace is scheduled to be finished and have its soft opening by March 26, and there are hopes to have different events and workshops in the space.

“We want the first floor to be a one-stop-shop,” Batte said.

Batte said that they have also changed a lot on the second floor by rearranging things to fit students’ needs.

“Because of social distancing we wanted to create a place where we could have bigger tables with more chairs for students to study,” Batte said.

Batte said that they also added more comfortable seating on the second floor of the building for students to hang out in.

The University and it’s IT department also had some extra Macbook computers that were given to the library to provide more computers for students on the second floor, and new networks and electrical connections were provided by the student tech fund.

Batte said that while the third floor is seen as the typical, quiet library, she wants the second floor, which is called the collaborative space, to become an area where students can come together to study and work on projects together.

Another thing that Batte said is still changing about the library is the process of trying to move all of it’s archives to the third floor.

“Part of the archives was on the first floor where the tutoring center is now, so a space has been renovated for them and their processing room has gotten updated,” Batte said.  “We have future plans to turn the third floor into an archives space.”

The third floor has undergone a lot of rearranging and renovating in the past month. A lot of the archives have been moved and new floors have been installed in the new processing area.

“I think change is good,” said Tabitha Mire, the archives’ library specialist.

Eventually, they would like to move everything to the third floor, but because archival documents are so fragile, they are working on installing temperature and humidity controllers before moving.

Batte said that the library is continuously adjusting to the times with new technologies and other needs and still is a valued resource for students on Nicholls’ campus.