Last Friday, Dean of the River Campus Libraries Ronald Dow held a reception to celebrate the opening of the Gleason Library. The arrival of this collaborative workspace is a perfect example of how planning and creation should work at UR. The design of the library was based on carefully gathered information on the needs and concerns of students and is a welcomed addition to the library system.
Student input was taken into consideration on several occasions during the planning process and the result was the literal creation of what students voiced to be their ideal workspace – a dynamic and multifaceted place for students to work with their peers. This dedication to students should be a mainstay in all development projects taking place at the UR that have such an immediate effect on student life.
The Gleason Library takes great strides to fill a number of significant gaps in the library system. First, students clearly needed a place for collaborative study, as that kind of work is highly valued by professors and the UR curriculum. The decision to make Gleason a 24-hour, seven-day a week study space should also be applauded. The need for this kind of freedom for students has been a longtime concern. Finally, Dow also deserves praise for the timely manner in which the library was opened – the project finished in time to allow students to become comfortable with the area before finals.
Students have voiced concerns that the need for quiet, comfortable study space is perhaps being neglected and Gleason is yet another area not conducive to concentrated study. But as students settle into the new dynamic, which now includes Rush Rhees, Gleason and the IT Center all working in tandem, each student should be able to find a study environment that satisfies his or her personal needs. In fact, it is because of the ongoing commitment to addressing student needs – as demonstrated in the construction of Gleason – that the library system is so widely used.