Grasselli Library enters phase one of renovation

%28From+left+to+right%29+Library+Director+Michelle+Millet%2C+John+Mastrantoni+%2780+and+President+Michael+Johnson+officially+launch+phase+one+of+renovations.+%28Photo+from+John+Carroll+University+Instagram%29

(From left to right) Library Director Michelle Millet, John Mastrantoni ’80 and President Michael Johnson officially launch phase one of renovations. (Photo from John Carroll University Instagram)

Laken Kincaid, Staff Reporter

The Grasselli Library and Breen Learning Center commenced phase one of its renovation project on Oct. 5. The library has had a large presence at JCU since its original dedication in 1961. Now, after many buildings on campus have undergone renovation, it is the library’s turn. 

“The faculty and staff of Grasselli have already created a modern library in terms of collections and services,” Michelle Millet, library director of Grasselli, told The Carroll News. “We’ve been upgrading carpet and furniture here and there each year since I started in 2012, but it’s time to bring the whole building up to date and create a more physically modern library that really benefits our students.

“The library building is heavily used, but half of it is from the 1960s and half from the 1990s,” Millet continued. “It was time to reimagine a library to be more than a repository for books. 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.”

The library has a special role in campus life that Millet said its faculty and staff enjoy and want to expand. 

“We love being the bridge between academics and student life. You come here to study, get coffee, meet friends, go to wellness events, use the study tables, grab a computer, work on a project in the CDM, but what if we could rebuild it and make it better? We think of the library as the place where we ’think, find, and create,’ but we want to push the boundaries on that in terms of services and partners in the building while also updating the facilities.”

Students have felt like the library especially needed a facelift after the remodeling of the Recreation Center last month. 

“Personally, I love the lib,” said Mike Ulishney ‘21  about Grasselli. “I spend a lot of time there, but some of the library needs to be renovated or updated. A lot of it is a little bit older.”

The John Carroll University Instagram page will be posting update pictures in the weeks to come.

“In phase one, we’ll be adding a beautiful, enclosed quiet study room on the third floor,” Millet said “The two things students ask for the most are more outlets and more quiet. All of the renovated spaces will have furniture with more power, and we hope this room provides a great sanctuary for those who prefer quiet. The second floor will see the addition of the Student Success Center, which includes the office of Academic Success and Career Services. We’re excited to have them join us in the library at the center of campus, instead of on the periphery.

“None of these renovations take away any student seating,” she added. “We’ve really stressed that we’d like to increase capacity and increase group study rooms. We also are not decreasing the print book collection. We’re just rearranging a couple of dated buildings, removing walls and making the building more functional.”

“I’m excited to see how the renovations will turn out,” Ulishney said. “They’ve been implementing new furniture and other cool features recently. Hopefully, it looks as good as the other renovations on campus.”

Millet said, “The library faculty and I see you all in and out of here every day (and night!), and we want to make Grasselli into the modern library that you deserve.”

According to the Grasselli Library staff, renovations will last until the summer and will take place between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. during the day so the major student and faculty work times should not be interrupted.