College renovates libraryPublished 7:07pm Saturday, January 25, 2014
After more than two years of planning, Paul D. Camp Community College finally is moving ahead with an expansion and renovation of its library at the Hobbs Suffolk campus.
The 4,230-square-foot project will create computer labs and small study rooms and allow more room for resources accessible by students and faculty, as well as the community in general.
The new Library Learning Commons is in the same location on campus as the former library, but more space has been added. During the renovation, computers and other resources have been relocated to another room on campus.
It’s currently an empty shell with paint, insulation and other necessities being added. But by mid-March, the computers and other resources will return to the renovated space.
Though the library still has thousands of physical books, the technological assets and opportunities to study and meet are what really draw students to the library these days, PDCCC President Paul Conco said.
“Students don’t come to the library for a book any more,” he said. “They come for the high-speed resources, they come to work in groups. We’re giving them these new resources and giving them a nice, attractive, comfortable space.”
A couple of computer labs at either end of the renovated library can be open to the public or used for classes simply by shutting a door and drawing the blinds against the soundproof glass. Smaller study rooms with television monitors will allow students to work in groups, practice presentations or study alone. The use of glass allows a staff member in one place to see every corner of the library and computer labs.
Efficient lighting with automatic sensors ensure energy isn’t wasted and contribute to the college’s commitment to sustainability, Conco added.
The college visited other new or renovated libraries, including those at Old Dominion and Christopher Newport universities, to get ideas.
A similar renovation is ongoing at the college’s Franklin campus and is set to be completed by the end of April.
In addition to physical books, the college’s library resources include more than 80,000 e-books, online databases of articles from journals, magazines and newspapers, multi-media clips, iPads and more. The college also has a mobile app that features a quick search of the resources, an Ask a Librarian feature, research tools and more.
Conco said the college remains committed to a plan to share resources in the city’s new downtown library but realizes it’s still in the future.
“We’re excited to be a part of that, but we know it’s a good three years away,” he said, noting that digital resources can be shared in either location.
For more information on the college, visit www.pdc.edu.