Woodruff Library to Undergo Renovations

Renovations to the Robert W. Woodruff Library will redesign the second through ninth floors if funding is approved after a feasibility study into estimated costs and timeframes, according to University Librarian Yolanda Cooper.

The project is in the final phase of the study, which is also looking into changes to the Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC) Library and the Computing Center at Cox Hall.

Woodruff Library floors will be redesigned to incorporate more “open study spaces,” Cooper said.

The plans call for a new entrance to the third floor of the Woodruff Library on Fishburne Drive and a “scholar commons” section, which would encompass a lab-like environment geared toward faculty, graduate students and experts in teaching and learning technologies.

Proposed changes to the fourth floor include an increase in group study rooms and more open study spaces.

The proposal calls for a graduate-student-only space on the fifth floor that can only be accessed with an EmoryCard swipe.

“We have individual study [spaces] for graduates and faculty now, but we’re going to create spaces to make it more equitable — what happens is people can’t get spaces,” Cooper said. “That way when we open the space, we won’t have that problem.”

The proposal includes opening a reading room, increasing open study space and adding historical collections to the WHSC Library.

“Once we find out the feasibility study and get the phasing going, we’ll promote it more and start to request funding for different portions,” Cooper said. “It could be as far out as five to six years before we can complete all the renovations.”

Cooper said she hopes the feasibility study will be completed by the end of November. The study began early 2017.

Level one of the Woodruff Library was renovated over the summer, and Cooper said there has been an uptick in activity on that floor this academic year.

“I love the new outlets on the first floor and how the area tends to be quieter,” Caroline Abbott (16Ox, 18C) said. “It’s changed a lot.”

Kazi Rahman (20C) also said he likes the first floor renovations and is excited for upcoming changes.

“Last year … [the library] would make you feel claustrophobic. It was really stuffy — I didn’t really like to go there,” Rahman said. “The first floor renovations really turned that around for me, and now I spend a lot of time there. I’m really happy they’re going to continue with the changes.”

Alex Klugerman contributed reporting.

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