Grasselli Library continues renovations

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The Mastrantoni Family Student Success Commons welcome students to study, visit the Career Center or the Academic Success Center. (Photo by Aiden Keenan ‘22).

Aiden Keenan, Photo Editor

Since Oct. 2020, the Grasselli Library and Breen Learning Center have undergone major renovations. Notably, these renovations included the creation of the Mastrantoni Family Student Success Commons on the main floor of the library. 

 

Here, the Career Center and Academic Success Center have shared office spaces, designated study work space and various conference rooms for interview practice, quiet study and more. 

 

In addition to the Success Center, the James J. McDonough ‘55 Study Room has been completed on the third floor. This room is used as a quiet study space for students, consisting of five tables, each with four seats and multiple charging outlets. Grace Kilfoyle ‘23 told The Carroll News that it is now one of her new favorite study spots on campus. 

 

Kilfoyle said, “The new silent study space on the third floor of Grasselli Library offers students a modern, bright space to work on homework. It’s a space that is different from other spaces on campus…” She continued, “it is a space where I am productive, and reflects welcomed change, bringing modern, functional student study spaces to campus.”

 

Although these spaces have been completed, more areas will continue to see improvements throughout the year. In fact, the current renovations are only in phase one of three planned renovation phases.

 

A new elevator room is being constructed; the current elevator shaft near the main entrance will be torn down and replaced with a new elevator near the back of the library, next to the Center for Digital Media. Library staff expect this new elevator to be complete sometime by the end of October. 

 

Michelle Millet, the library director of Grasselli, explained to The Carroll News in Oct. 2020, “The library building is heavily used, but half of it is from the 1960s and half from the 1990s.” Though the space has remained functional since its foundation, Millet and other administrators have advocated for renovations to create a more modern space. 

 

These renovations have been years in the making; planning, budgeting and the execution. Of course, the University was inspired by its devotion to serve the students and pulled ideas from other universities. 

 

“It was time to reimagine a library to be more than a repository for books.” Millet told The Carroll News. “The best way for us to do that and create the library our students deserve is to reimagine the entire space. I think we re-envisioned the library when our new Provost [Steve Herbert] started. We were most inspired by you all, our students. I and the other library faculty have also visited other new and renovated libraries at other colleges to see examples of what we might do.”

 

As previously mentioned, the Mastrantoni Family Student Success Commons have become a space for students to study, work together or seek professional resources for academic and professional success. Shannon Callaghan ‘22, a Peer Success Advisor with the Academic Success Center, told The Carroll News, “[The Academic Success Center] just moved to our new space in the Student Success Commons, which we share with Career Services. Anyone can use the space, and lots of students have already made it their go-to study area for homework and group projects.” Shannon expressed her preference for the Success Commons as one of her go-to study spots on campus. She continued, “There’s always someone to hang out with and the community is really supportive here! It’s also a bonus that it’s only a floor above the Den.” Students can visit the Career Center or Academic Success Center during business hours, but they are able to use the spaces and study rooms anytime the library is open. 

 

The first phase of library renovations will be complete within the next few months with the next phase beginning sometime thereafter. It is expected that the library will be undergoing various renovation phases for the next five years.

The Mastrantoni Family Student Success Commons welcome students to study, visit the Career Center or the Academic Success Center.
(Photo by Aiden Keenan ‘22).
One of the tables in the James J. McDonough ‘55 Study Room in front of the bookshelves.
(Photo by Aiden Keenan ‘22).
Various whiteboard tables welcome students into the Success Commons.
(Photo by Aiden Keenan ‘22).
The new elevator will be toward the back of the library; its completion is still upcoming.
(Photo by Aiden Keenan ‘22).
Throughout all floors of the library, floor coverings still litter the hallway, protecting the carpet from ceiling work.
(Photo by Aiden Keenan ‘22).