Extreme Makeover! Crouch Renovation Complete

In 1968, the Crouch Library opened its doors with a state-of-the-art music library on the third floor of the brand-new central libraries building. Since that time, a lot has changed: clothing and hair styles, types of recordings and the ways people use libraries, to name a few.

Nearly forty years later, however, some things in the library had changed very little.  The library was in desperate need of updating, not only to replace well-worn furniture, but to also address the changing needs of our clients.

In 2005, the Library Advancement Office recognized the library’s significant needs and worked tirelessly and creatively to raise funds for renovation.  Contributions from individual donors, Library Fellows funds, proceeds from the Ferguson-Clark lecture series and a generous grant from the Schumacher Foundation of Dover, Mass., enabled us to take the Crouch Library down to the concrete slab and bare walls and completely refurbish it.

The renovation took place during the Christmas break and included many aesthetic and functional improvements to the area.  The fine arts reference collection moved to the back of the room allowing a more open feel, greater room between aisles and space for expansion of the collection.

The highlight of the project is the addition of the new high-tech workstations designed by Herman Miller, which offer a place to listen to audio or watch video in a variety of formats.  They allow for increased work areas, independently controlled lighting, adjustable seating and sound masking technology.  The pods are located close to the entrance for quicker assistance from staff at our service desk.

To accommodate students’ use of personal laptops, we have equipped large study tables with recessed floor outlets.  We are also in the process of converting a former storage room into a study lounge for individuals or groups.

As people enter the Crouch Library, we are hearing lots of “ooh’s” and “ahhhh’s.”  However, the really exciting part is knowing that we have listened to our clients and made changes that reflect their needs.

“The Crouch Library is now an area that is comfortable and inviting,” said John S. Woods, graduate student.  “The relocation of the listening and viewing center has greatly improved its accessibility and created an environment much more conducive for study, research and creation.”

Dr. Michael Jacobson, who teaches a course that meets in the Crouch Library, noted that, “the renovations are very attractive and functional.”

“In this age where students are able to get more and more resources online without the need to physically go to the library, I think it’s important to make it appealing for them to come to the library,” Jacobson said.  “Being in the library promotes exploration and feeds into students’ natural curiosity about subjects or topics they are researching.” 

For photos and a description of the renovation process, visit the Crouch Library Renovation Blog online.

Music and Fine Arts Librarian