The Management and Government Documents departments of Rush Rhees Library have merged and are now located in a room off of the Martin Messenger Reading Room on the second floor.
The old Management Library is being converted into a staff room as part of a renovation made possible by donations from the Gleason Foundation.
This merger is part of an ongoing series of changes in Rush Rhees.
The Management Library was previously located on the third floor. However, that space is now going to house the library staff who were previously located on the first floor above ITS.
“The first floor space is being converted into a collaborative learning space for students to work on projects alone or with others,” Associate Dean of River Campus Libraries Stanley Wilder said. “Currently, there is no space on campus for students to do that kind of work.”
Management students have always made heavy use of government documents and vice versa.
“There really was a natural synergy between government documents and the management department,” Wilder said.
The two disciplines, while not directly related, require students to use resources from both departments.
“It is a great idea to bring people who are interested in management in contact with government students,” librarian Ann Marshall said.
Dean of the River Campus Libraries Ronald Dow was responsible for finding funding for the renovation, raising 5 million dollars to perform major renovations on Rush Rhees Library.
The donations came from the Gleason Foundation, the charitable arm of the Gleason Factory located in Rochester. The Gleason Factory has a history of supporting the library – they funded the renovation of the Great Hall. They have also made significant donations to the Simon School and have been supportive of other UR initiatives, according to Wilder.
The library is not finished changing and improving. There are plans to renovate the first floor in the coming years and more money is expected from the Gleason Foundation. Philip Olmsted, a library assistant at the Business and Government Information Library, has been working at Rush Rhees for ten years and has seen many changes.
“I am looking forward to where the library is heading in the future,” Olmstead said. “I think this is really a good change because it will create better study space for undergraduate students. In the long term, I think it is very good for the library and the University.”
The new renovations will include carpeting and painted walls.
“We’ve had the equipment and the books before, but they were in spaces that they had been in for a long time,” Olmstead said. “This is a new public service space for students.”
This change is not immediately obvious to many students who do not use the government or management departments. Still, many will find the renovations to be useful.
“The library has been very supportive of our needs,” Political Science department chair Gerald Gamm said. “If they think it’s a good idea, then I’m fine with it.”Wrobel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.