On October 13, 1991, Hoover Library was dedicated and named for Dr. Samuel H. and Elsie W. Hoover. Now, almost 22 years later, Hoover Library is facing some of its biggest renovation plans yet.
The renovation plans are split into three phases meant to add more creative spaces and to improve the overall learning and working environment. Phases one and two are definite plans, with the exception of a few future alterations, but Phase three has the possibility of not happening due to funds.
Phase one renovations are expected to finish by mid-February while Phase two renovations are expected to finish just a month afterwards in January.
The idea for the renovations came about following the construction of Caseys’ Corner. After seeing the study space in front of the Library renovated into a café, it only seemed like a logical step to renovate some of the Library itself.
Director of Hoover Library Jessame Ferguson, who had already been talking about renovations with the committee Creative Learning Space Project Group for a number of years, is leading the renovation project. “We got a grant from the Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities Association (MICUA),” She said. “We got 1.5 million that we can use towards the library renovations and Alumni Hall and we basically have to match those funds. What that means is we have to spend $1.5 million before we get the grant’s $1.5million. Our total projected cost is 3.5 million. The extra half million is the projected cost of new furnishings that is not covered by the state grant.”
Another new development for Hoover Library is the addition of two 24-hour access floors, the 1st and the 2nd. “We will be going to 24 hours, hopefully, by the beginning of the spring semester. There is some equipment to install in this space for safety and security reasons. We need to make this environment safe and secure for students,” Ferguson said.
Since the renovations have not begun yet, Ferguson took me on a tour around the library to better demonstrate the renovations plans for each space:
“We’re building an entire office suite where every one of our staff will stay in which will have doors that are publically accessible, so no matter who you need, you can find them without having the feeling of imposing in this big office (the old space). Outside of it will be a comfortable seating area where they can have conversations with students and work with them. Students can gather here too. The reference collection will switch to this side.”
“IT Office will be here and the Reference Librarians will be here. It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing a project that requires technology or research, you will have people here that can help you. This whole area will be configured with new seating and new furnishings. There will also be new PCs. Basically, everything in here will be renovated. There will be soft seating options and computer work stations. The idea is to provide a space where students can crowd around each other and work together. There is also going to be a new group technology room that will have a big screen TV on the wall. There will be new toilets built to better equip the 1st Floor for going 24 hours. They will also the Computer Lab.”
“The vending machines from the café will be moved to where the copiers are now.”
Meeting and Events Space:
“Alumnus Dave Wahrhaftig is making a gift of $250,000 for a conference room which will be great because we don’t have a space like this yet. It will seat up to 48 people in the current seating arrangement we currently have designed. There is some reconfiguration that will happen. This room will also have teleconferencing capabilities so you can bring in speakers from around the world.”
“We will be adding a new classroom for doing information literacy instruction because the current classroom is not good. It’s like a bowling alley. It’s not designed for the interactive work we want to be doing.”
Compact High-Density Storage System:
“They are shelving units that are electronically controlled that allow you to basically double the volume of the things you want to put in that space. The shelves squeeze together. This is where a lot of our ‘under-utilized’ collections will go like our government documents collection. They will be there for access, of course, but it will save room.”
L Floor (Silent Floor)
“There can be noise coming from the elevator and the group study rooms, so I want to have a glassed-off wall between that and the rest of the floor to lower the amount of noise and travel.”
Below are the current (but not final) floor plans for the Hoover Library renovations as well as the layout for the Meeting/Events room. Phase one is highlighted in yellow and phase two is highlighted in green.