In the last year, Northern Kentucky University students have grown accustomed to the sound of pounding hammers and revving earthmovers. But in August, construction began in a place known for its quiet: W. Frank Steely Library.
The second floor of the library will have new carpet, new furniture and will be repainted. Canned lighting will be added which will give the option to dim the area. Arne Almquist, associate provost for library services, described it as being a multi-purpose domain, complete with a comfortable study area that will also display artwork by students, faculty and staff.
“Finally, we are installing dimmable lighting which will allow the space to be used for library events,” Almquist said. “Truly a multipurpose space.”
He also described the area as being an “institutional recreational place,” where books of higher interest will be available for students.
“I think that the students will love the new area. First, it will be a beautiful and comfortable place to study. There will be a recreational reading collection–something that students have requested for some time,” he said.
Previously, the second floor of the library held some furniture and computers, along with some bookshelves. Almquist said everything has been removed for reuse or surplus. He said the bookshelves have been temporarily relocated down the center of the aisle on the other end of the second floor.
Almquist said the bookshelves would return to the second floor once construction is complete.
The area’s renovation, which was funded by local philanthropists Oakley and Eva Farris, will be referred to as the “Eva G. Farris Reading Area.”
More work is set for Steely Library. The upcoming construction dubbed “Phase II of the Archives,” will take place in the closed-stacks area and will not affect the public. He added that the project would improve the library’s storage and preservation of rare and historic materials.