To many students who have been watching and waiting for the new library, it can feel that the project will never be complete, or at least not before they transfer or leave Yuba College. Beginning over a year ago, the construction was started, using funds from Measure J bond money, with the state matching what the district put into the project. At this time, the building is finally starting to come together and is beginning to show some actual signs of where things are being placed and what the general layout will be. Many students are already coming to realize that this building will not just be an “overhaul” of the old library, but a genuinely new, technologically modern space that’s easy to be upgraded again in the future. This building focuses on students and accessibility.
The temporary location of the library for the duration of the construction is now in the cafeteria (in case you have been living under a rock or wondered where all the Chimichanga’s went). I’m not sure about everyone else, but to me this construction feels like it’s taking forever, and I was starting to wonder just how different the new library will be, and just what we can expect when we finally walk into the new building.
Although the completion date was first scheduled for the end of 2013, the current estimate is spring of 2014, if everything goes according to plan from here on out. Elena Heilman, librarian for Yuba College, was kind enough to give me a sort of “virtual” walkthrough, using the blueprints, to help me get an idea of what a student walking up to the new library and looking in would see.“Walking” through the building and getting an impressions of the sites one would see was a great way to allow me, and hopefully other Yuba College students, gain a better notion of just exactly what our campus will have as a new asset, along with seeing the mood the interior is bound to have with the new types of technology.
When facing the entrance from the nearby Performing Arts Center, just where the other front entrance old library was, will stand a new front entrance with large glass doors opening into a lounge area or foyer. Comfortable lounge type couches will be in the center of the room, while to the immediate right is a type of cafe with stools at a counter-top to possibly relax at in between classes or during a study session. To the left of the entrance, similar to the previous tutoring area which was filled with computers in the center, there will be private small rooms for tutoring and the space for computers that will be much more effectively used. I believe the large, welcoming open areas will go a long way towards not only making students feel more welcome initially, but more likely to stay. Entering this front area, the feeling of so much open space, combined with how many more seating areas there are for students, give the impression that even empty space wasn’t wasted, as the atmosphere in a library is quite important. Compared to the old library, the inviting-ness and welcoming feelings should be a good change, and possibly one most students can’t quite put their finger on but appreciate for the “vibe,” regardless. It will be interesting to see the first impressions of students entering the new building for the first time after it’s completed, and I personally can’t wait to actually be able to bring my own laptop and work on schoolwork in between classes or on days when classes are cancelled. Previously, in the old library, it seemed that seats or spots available for computers or even study groups would always be a hassle, and even if you just had to print something prior to class you almost certainly were out of luck unless you got there 45 minutes early. The frustrating aspects, that I’m sure everyone who used the old library had, have been evaluated and heard.
Upon entering the new library, the first thing one is likely to notice is the sheer openness and completely new feel. Like previously said, the left houses the study session rooms with chairs and tables for people to get tutoring help and such. To the right, instead of the old teacher offices there will be the English tutoring center. Straight ahead past the lounge chairs and couch type settings, you will enter past the security sensors that will not impede your progress. In the back area there is a two story area where all the older computer terminals and quiet study session desks are located. The entire two story wall on the north side will be lined once again with glass windows, but much larger and allowing more light to enter. There are two other separate entrances on both the west and east sides respectfully. The East allows entrance to the ITV and video editing area of the library, while the west is the entrance to the teacher offices and the Prospector’s classroom, which will be the replacement for the portable that I am currently working on this very article in.
Even without looking at a cleaned up, finalized version of the new library in-progress, I hope I was at least able to convey the actually cool, up to date, and useful aspects that I genuinely think more students will take advantage of. Also, one thing to keep a look out for will be a few online articles posted in the future, after I am able to accompany a faculty walk through of the building soon. Pictures from the inside will be included so you don’t have to imagine the aspects of the new library that I was trying to paint a picture of in your mind.
Regardless of the fact that our campus tends to have a “get in and get out” mentality when it comes to the student body, I think that these types of upgrades and investments will prolong the college’s effectiveness in the real world, and also hopefully show students that they don’t have to rush out of here, as college isn’t just about that piece of paper saying you “did it.” The experience of learning, developing as a person, researching, and finding things out for yourself are vital. The librarians and services at our school are there to help! This new library will fulfill a variety of roles, with one of the most important being to provide a safe, positive, and relaxing place for students to work, or simply read the news, or wait for their next class.
Please stay tuned for more updates soon!