What is going on to the Vanier Library 3rd floor and will study spaces be accessible any time soon?
The Library Administration replied:
Thank you for your question. Major renovations are underway at the Vanier Library. These renovations form an important part of the Libraries’ overall plan to improve the efficiency and quality of its spaces. The Vanier Library component is closely related to the plans recently unveiled for the Webster Library.
The Vanier Library will be the scene of construction throughout the remainder of the Winter semester continuing until June 2014. The construction work will be on the third floor. The work zone will soon be contained within a temporary wall, specially insulated to reduce noise. Emerging from this cocoon in early June will be new study facilities and office spaces.
These renovations will not decrease the number of study tables at the Vanier Library. Although the study tables on the third floor will be relocated (mostly to the second floor), all tables will remain accessible to students throughout the construction period. The renovation project will also provide two additional, new group study rooms. These rooms, plus two of the existing rooms, will be specially equipped with new technology to support collaborative learning.
The renovations will not affect students’ access to the stacks. Nor will this project reduce the library collections. Most books from the third floor have already been shifted to the second floor, thanks to space gains made by the compact automated shelving installed last year the ground floor of the Vanier Library.
An important feature of the Vanier Renovations is the creation of a new office area for the Libraries’ Collections Services Department. This department, responsible for ordering and cataloguing the Libraries’ electronic resources, books and journals, will move from the Webster Library to the Vanier Library in June, thus liberating a major area for redevelopment in the Webster Library. Focus of the Webster redevelopment will be the creation of expanded and enhanced study facilities for students.
I really love the openness of the 3rd floor with the big section of wooden blue zone tables. I’m glad that type of space was added because the individual cubicle desks tended to induce sleeping but were often the only option in the blue zones. The wooden chairs are very comfortable for me, too.
Thank you for your comments. You may have read that the changes that were made to the 3rd floor of the Webster Library are temporary. I will pass your comments to the renovation planners.
Collection Reconfiguration / Increased Study Space
I’ve been studying at the Webster library for many years now and I was very enthusiastic when I first heard about the new study space project. However upon its completion now, I really couldn’t care less for it. This is because of the space being furnished with those old, elementary school-style chairs and tables. Aside from the fact that the chairs are just uncomfortable overall – especially for a person of taller stature like myself – they make annoying rattling and cracking sounds which can honestly be very distracting, especially for a designated blue zone. Indeed if they are meant to be permanent, this fact alone makes it more conducive to it being an orange zone.
I’ve been a longtime fan of the cushioned chairs – they’ve ironically been the subject of conversions with other students over the years. The subtle ergonomics of the chairs really do help relieve strain as they have a flexible, bounce-back effect that helps to conform to your body’s movement. Also the commercial-grade laminate tables are great because aside from providing an ample work surface area, they feel more clean as the cleaning staff are able to wipe them down quickly and effectively. Unfortunately this definitely can’t be said for the surfaces of the wooden desks.
If this new area could be furnished with standard commercial-grade workplace furniture, it would definitely be an even greater addition to the library. Indeed it perplexes me to think that such an elaborate project was undertaken just to produce such an unrefined end result.
Regardless of the actual furnishing though, will the tables also be outfitted with extension cords?
I have good news for you. The “new study space project” is far from completed. In fact it is just beginning! The furniture that you refer to is old furniture that used to be housed at the Vanier Library. (By the way, although you are not the first to complain about those wooden chairs, some people love them too!) Since Webster has recently acquired some much needed study space on the third floor and Vanier no longer needed the furniture, we moved it to Webster temporarily. Rest assured that this is not what the end-result will look like!
Thank you for taking the time to write. If you have anymore suggestions for the “new” Libraries, please send them to the Suggestion Box. I will gladly pass them on to the appropriate Library Directors.
Some of you have had chairs on your mind lately. You wrote:
The Vanier library has recently gotten new white chairs for the computers. While things may look spiffy and matching, they really don’t fit the tables at all, making you have to strain to reach the keyboard (try it- the size difference is not natural and very uncondusive to working). I would have thought something as elementary as measuring the distance and actually trying out the chairs with the computer tables BEFORE buying the set, would have been done. I have been working here for only about half an hour, and already my back and shoulders are killing me. At least the other chairs (which were perfectly functional) were adjustable. This is unnecessary and frustrating- we would rather have old but functioning chairs, than fashionable but useless ones.
The new chairs placed on the first floor of Vanier library are a disgrace… terribly uncomfortable… I recognize the need to remove the wooden chairs as they were noisy but the grey fabric chairs were comfortable and excellent… myself and many others are extremely disappointed with the change to these new, cheap, uncomfortable, impractical chairs…the few grey chairs that remain in Vanier should not be removed but saved for those that want to be comfortable when studying.
Thanks for your comments about these two different sets of chairs at Vanier Library. The new chairs in the computer classroom were tested before they were purchased. During one month, students were asked to fill out a survey to evaluate a number of different chair samples in the library. The chair models selected were those that were given the highest ratings in the approximately 100 student survey responses we received. At the moment, however, there is a set of computer tables that are a bit higher than standard. These will be adjusted during the summer. In addition, we are considering purchasing chairs with adjustable height so that everyone can find one that fits.
The new chairs in the study areas on the first floor at Vanier replaced the older wooden chairs, which as some of you pointed out previously, were deemed creaky and uncomfortable. The grey upholstered chairs you mention are still in the library, they were just moved to the second floor.
Since both long- and short-term renovation projects are planned for Concordia Libraries, we would like to hear from more of you: What do you think about the chairs in the two libraries, and what would you consider both practical and comfortable in any new chairs that might be purchased for the study tables and computer workstations? Specific examples from other libraries or study spaces are welcome.
What a great idea to place tables on the 2nd floor lobby at Webster! It adds more study space AND discourages people from talking on their cellphones there. Will they only be there for exam period, or can this be a permanent thing? (I hope it is the latter).
Thanks for your feedback. It’s good to hear that you appreciate this move. The addition of the tables and chairs was prompted by the exam time space crunch, but it is likely that they will remain there beyond the exam period.