Millar Library renovation continues

For most of the summer the second floor of the library has been closed. This is due to a very expensive, yet necessary, renovation that will yield a new Research Center.

Proposed in 1995, the project is expected to cost 2.86 million, and reach completion September 21.The major changes are a reordering of the libraries call number system, changing the catalog program, the addition of a second classroom and a Research and Learning Center for multidisciplinary reference.

To reorder the entire library’s call number system, approximately 5,200 feet of books must be moved over six days. Due to delays with a light fixture company this will not be possible until the first or second week of fall term.

The computer catalog switch will not be in place until January or later. The catalogue upgrade is expected to cost 300-500 thousand dollars; Orbis is a much-needed upgrade from the 15-year old Vikat. The state of Oregon and the Fred Meyer Trust split the bill for the Orbis system.

With the new Orbis catalog system, PSU will be linked to all four-year colleges in Oregon and some in Washington, easing interlibrary loans. Doing away with paper loan forms, students will be able to order books from other libraries connected to Orbis using the internet.

The library currently boasts one high-tech classroom with 21 wireless laptops and a flat rear-projection screen, called a Smart board. After the renovation another, adjacent room will have 20-24 wireless laptops and a Smart board. These classrooms are to be used by the library staff for training incoming students on library use, and may function as meeting rooms as well.

The new Research and Learning Center will have 48 new flat-screen computers for general and specific use. With the second floor dedicated to research, there may be less running from floor-to-floor searching out a department librarian for help.

The library is open to the public, and enforcing time limits and content restrictions on the computers has been difficult. Another addition to the library’s computers may be a software solution to remedy these issues.

The current solution is a librarian stationed nearby who has to watch users, which some have deemed too confrontational.”

The Portland Public Library computers require a customer to type in their library account number before use, and after an hour the computer automatically boots its user. Time used per day is monitored through the public library’s network. Other, similar solutions are being considered.

The Branford P. Millar Library is undergoing renovations to keep up with the research methods that have become commonplace in other universities across the country. When the library is finished and fully opened, students will find a centralized research center and an updated catalogue.