Students and faculty are very enthusiastic about the renovations completed in the business library this summer, says executive director and business librarian Susan Klopper. The business library has always blended in with its surroundings in the Woodruff Library. That was exactly what the librarians wanted to change.
“We wanted to create a place that students could easily identify with as part of the business school community,” says Klopper. “We have great real estate, but nothing distinguished the business library as part of our community.”
A new floor-to-ceiling glass wall and interior soft gray painted walls now distinguishes the business library from the rest of Woodruff. Glass bookshelves are built into both the inside and outside of the new wall, giving librarians significantly more space for display. “There is no actual door,” says Klopper. “We left it open because it is cumbersome for students to manage opening a door with everything they carry.”
A significant addition is the banquettes that now line the “L” space created by the front and side walls, allowing for additional and more flexible seating arrangements. New tables and chairs on wheels can be rearranged into whatever configuration is necessary for team collaboration.
“That’s what our space is really about,” notes Klopper, adding that this improvement adds approximately twelve seats and work spaces to the library. “The school does not have enough collaborative work space. We hope this will continue to encourage even more of our students to work here and be exposed to our resources.”
The reference desk, formerly relegated to the back wall, is now in the middle of the room. “We [librarians] are more visible,” says Klopper. “We are here to support students, and this way we can better connect with them.”
Its prime location makes the business library the first thing prospective students and donors see when touring the Woodruff Library. Klopper says next steps will focus on co-branding with the school—for example, featuring the school’s logo and quotes from Mr. Goizueta on the glass walls enveloping the space.
As part of the Business School’s capital campaign, Klopper says the ultimate goal is to build a much larger collaborative learning space that will complement the school’s main campus building. Meanwhile, the Goizueta community finally has a library that is more distinctly its own.
– Sarah Banick