A new Reading Commons is scheduled for construction this summer in the east side of the Learning Commons.
During the past year, the idea was developed by a planning committee of faculty, staff and students to enhance the “overall comfort and functionality,” which has not been renovated in ten years.
The east side of the Learning Commons area on the main floor is changing because it’s in need of updating, said John Weaver, dean of library services and educational technology.
The area currently has bookshelves, several couches, tables and chairs, computers, and a magazine rack. To enhance the space, the renovation will include new bookshelves, improved lighting, new books, periodicals and journals, and new additional seating and tables. In addition to the area providing a more comfortable place for people to read, it will also be available for public literary events, like poetry slams, readings and book signings.
“The library has consulted with faculty from the Language and Literature Department and they’re very supportive of the idea of a new space supporting recreational reading and literary events on campus,” said Weaver.
Sandra Martinez, junior engineering major from Dallas, said she sits in the reading commons frequently with her friends.
“I had no idea they were renovating it, I think it’s a little separated from that area so that’s always good,” Martinez said. “I can see myself coming here to read, it looks nice.”
Students potentially won’t see any major changes until next summer. However, enough funds were raised for an exhibition case which will showcase the Max Lucado collection this summer. Further construction on additional shelving for new and recommended books – which will be recommended by both faculty and literary authorities like The New York Times – may extend into the summer of 2018, said Weaver.
The library is constantly changing to benefit students, faculty and staff, so more renovations are planned on the bottom and third floor in the future.
The cost of the Reading Commons renovation will be a “significant investment,” said Weaver and the library is seeking donors for help. On March 30th, the Friends of ACU Library is hosting the annual Spring Banquet to help fund the Reading Commons. The Friends of ACU Library is a group that helps improve the Brown Library through fundraising.
“The Friends of ACU Library are also trying to raise funds toward a $90,000 endowment, which will help us purchase newer books and better reference works for the space,” Weaver said. “That’s the goal this year. We won’t likely achieve that full amount this year, but we are working towards that.”
Last year’s banquet had Max Lucado as speaker and was a success, said Weaver, because they raised over $15,000 for the processing of the Max Lucado collection, which came to ACU as an archived collection and will soon be exhibited in the new reading commons.
This year’s spring banquet will have Jay Moore, an Abilene author, as speaker. Mollie Scherer, library development and communications officer, said they’re hoping to fill the room, which holds up to 120 people.
“So we are accepting donations and we’re also accepting for people to purchase a seat and eat with us and enjoy the presentation,” said Scherer.
For more information, contact Mollie Scherer at firstname.lastname@example.org.