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As space needs at Alden Library continue to escalate, the staff has worked hard to find creative solutions. Students spoke, and we listened: the fourth floor now offers new “quiet spaces.”

With input from faculty and students, Alden Library staff has developed a targeted renovation plan for an almost 50-year-old building. The project is funded in phases.

Fourth Floor Renovation

Alden Library’s fourth-floor space must respond to the needs of today’s student and complement the success of the second-floor Learning Commons. In keeping with our student-centered focus, our plan is to provide flexible work spaces, graduate student spaces, exhibit areas, and pervasive electronic access. Funding for this re-imagined space will also allow us to make overdue physical updates and upgrade our computer networking capabilities.

Co-locating Two Student-Centered Areas

Tucked away in the back corner of the first floor of Alden Library, the Academic Advancement Center (AAC) offers tutoring, academic skill development, academic guidance through credit courses, and individual group study sessions—all of which are crucial to helping students gain the skills required to succeed in a university academic environment. But because the Center is practically invisible, its crucial services often go underutilized or are unknown.

A typical evening on the second floor Learning Commons at Alden. (Photo by Bryan Thomas/Ohio University Libraries)
A typical evening on the second floor Learning Commons in Alden Library. (Photo by Bryan Thomas/Ohio University Libraries)


By contrast, the Learning Commons, located on the Library’s second floor, has become a hub of activity for OHIO students, which provides expert assistance within a technology-rich environment. Here the Writing Center’s tutors, technology assistants, and librarians work to provide a vibrant, learner-centered, collaborative environment. A key part of the targeted renovation plan will bring the AAC to the second-floor space.

Once the two centers occupy the same physical area, we will send a targeted message to students: OHIO values the AAC’s academic support services, which are available to all students at all levels, and that less-prepared students can learn from students who are more ready to meet the academic requirements of a university education.

Teaching Spaces

Every year, Ohio University librarians provide students with over 1,200 hours of instruction about navigating today’s overwhelming information environment and using quality information to produce better papers, presentations, and products for class assignments. The teaching spaces in Alden Library were state-of-the-art computer lab environments 10 or 12 years ago. Now, as faculty assign more team-based projects, as mobile computing has become ubiquitous, and as the universe of information continues to expand, more technologically flexible spaces are required.