“The Look” in “The Library”


ST. LOUIS — Recognizing that library users in the 21st Century expect a blend of academic resources and modern amenities, the Maryville University Library is meeting these expectations with its newly renovated facility. “We want to make the Library more of a center for learning with faculty, staff and students working in a collaborative and technologically rich environment,” said Genie McKee, Ph.D., dean of the University Library. She said today’s college student has grown accustomed to bookstores like Borders, which offer both comfortable accouterments and functional work spaces.

The centerpiece of Maryville’s library is the transformation of the first floor into an Information Commons area, which provides the latest in technological access. It also enables students to work together on group projects or consult with reference librarians or other library staff when conducting research. The Information Commons includes 13 chairs with tablet arms that move easily for laptop use, 73 task chairs, 38 individual workstations for desktop computers and many electrical outlets for laptop use. Also, the number of group study areas in the Library has increased from four to nine.

McKee remarked that three lounge areas featuring comfortable chairs with ottomans and love seats have been added for either individual or group use. All furniture can be moved easily to fit any group’s needs, she said. The renovations are the latest step the Library has taken to meet student needs. Two years ago, the Library “went wireless” to allow patrons the convenience of using laptop computers throughout the building. McKee said this is the Library’s first major renovation since the building was erected in 1988.

Maryville University, founded in 1872, is a private, coeducational institution offering approximately 50 undergraduate, seven master’s and two doctoral degree programs to 3,300 students. Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges in the Midwest, Maryville University prepares its students for successful and meaningful careers by offering programs that integrate liberal arts with professional studies.

Among Maryville’s most recent graduates, 94 percent are employed or attending graduate school. Approximately 15,000 alumni work and live in the St. Louis region.

In the photo: Maryville University President Mark Lombardi, Ph.D., left, and Justin Zimmerman, president, Maryville Student Government, second from right, cut the ribbon to officially open the new Information Commons area on the first floor of the University Library. Looking on are Genie McKee, Ph.D., dean of the University Library; and Brian Nedwek, Ph.D., Maryville’s vice president for academic affairs.