posted 2012-04-26 00:00:15

Hunter Continues Renovation of the Wexler Library

Renovations aim to modernize library for digital age

Eugene Ostrovskiy

Staff Writer

The new entrance to the Hunter College’s Wexler Library has now opened on the seventh floor. The third floor entrance will remain closed for the duration of renovations, which are expected to be complete by the end of 2012.

The library will be open during its regular hours (unless indicated otherwise) with the exception of the areas that are being renovated. None of the library’s online resources will be affected during the modernization of the Wexler Library. The main library reference desk, now located on the fourth floor, will further assist students in finding information as some parts of the library’s collection are being moved elsewhere due to renovations.

One of the ways in which the library is being modernized is by introducing many new power outlets. Hunter College has been adding more outlets by installing two charging stations in the library. After the renovation is complete, there will be multiple outlets on every table as well as on the walls. This is part of an increased focus on computers and other technology, which is one of the goals of the library renovation. The appearance and lighting of the library will improve and it will be a more interactive experience, featuring areas where students can check out books on their own to avoid waiting in line.

“This [temporary entrance] is not at all convenient for anyone but I am looking forward to the renovations. Every time I go in there I can’t charge my laptop,” said Biana Rosa, a sophomore studying Psychology.

The total estimated cost of the renovation is $30 million. Currently $5.6 million have been raised through donations and public money given to Hunter College. There is also much time for the remainder of the money to be raised because renovating the library will be divided into multiple stages: the first stage is the current renewal of the third floor, and will take years to complete. “In the long run, if the library is going to be more student-friendly then these renovations are worth it. The fact that the library is finally being renovated on such a grand scale shows that they are willing to help the students,” said Dmitriy Berman, a sophomore Accounting major.

Regarding the renovation, Dan Cherubin, chief librarian at Hunter College, said that he and other library staff are “excited that it is finally happening.” Others, like Lina Nania, a sophomore who hasn’t yet declared her major, were less optimistic. “There was nothing wrong with it in the first place. I mean, nothing that terrible. I have a feeling by the time it’s done being modernized it’ll have to be know, to be more modern.” she said.

For students who simply need a quiet location to study, several floors have been set aside as quiet spaces to counteract the increased noise and chaos caused by the renovations. Floors B2, 5, 6 and 7 are designated as quiet floors. Additionally students also have the option of visiting other Hunter College libraries such as the Zabar Art Library on the 16th floor of Hunter North, the School of Social Work and Public Health Library at 2180 Third Avenue and the Health Professions Library located at Hunter College’s Brookdale Dormitories at 425 East 25 street. The catalogs and inventories at the locations can be checked online.

The current stage of renovation will be completed before the end of 2012 and information about future stages will be announced accordingly. The new entrance will temporarily make it more difficult for students to access the Wexler Library and is likely to encourage them to go elsewhere. David Liao, a sophomore at Hunter who is a Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience Major said, “There are times when I’m like ‘oh I need a computer, I’m going [to] head to the library,’ and I’d rather go to the Hunter library than the computer lab on the 10th floor of Hunter North but I guess you’ll have to wait and see.”