Construction to refresh Waldo Library's lower level continues this fall

Contact: Sara Volmering

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The lower level of Western Michigan University's Waldo Library is getting a much-needed refresh this fall as crews install new carpet, ceiling tiles and energy-efficient lighting. Construction kicked off in June, closing the lower level through December. All other floors and collections in Waldo Library are open and operating as normal. 

"Our priority is creating a library that feels welcoming to all students and supports a wide range of academic needs," says Julie Garrison, dean of University Libraries. "This project will create a fresh and inviting study space for students, increase energy efficiency with new lighting, improve the accessibility of our stacks and make our technology spaces, like the Virtual Reality Lab, more inviting, visible and usable." 

Waldo Library's size and extensive print collections add complexity to what may seem to be routine carpet and lighting updates. Rather than removing and boxing every book, movers will lift and relocate over 20,000 linear feet of shelving loaded with print items. 

"The sheer size of our print collection creates unique challenges for any facility update," says Garrison. "These projects require special care and planning to minimize the impact on our users while we update our spaces. We will do everything we can to help our users get what they need throughout the project's duration." 

Waldo Library's technology spaces will be open on the second floor this fall, including the Respondus Testing Room, Multimedia and Learning Glass studios, and 3D printing, Flight Simulator and Virtual Reality labs. 

While the lower level's print collections are unavailable, library users can get access by placing an Interlibrary Loan through a network of partner libraries. 

"The amazing thing about the Libraries is that we can get our users nearly any book or resource they might need—even if we don't have it in our collections," says Sara Volmering, marketing manager, University Libraries. "Services like Interlibrary Loan or MeLCat are free for WMU students and employees and make it easy to get what you need." 

Subscribe to the University Libraries' email list or visit the library website for more information as the project progresses. 

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.