The University of New Orleans’ Earl K. Long Library has undergone renovations to make it more accessible and inviting to students both inside and outside of the facility.
A capital project this summer opened up the library’s breezeway by removing barriers that separated the building from the sprawling green lawn it faces. A good portion of the first floor of the library is now dedicated to student services—such as the bursar’s office and student study rooms and nooks. The library coffee shop is also now open 24 hours, five days a week, the same as the library.
The goal is to have all student services located under one roof, President John Nicklow said.
“Our goal is to have all these things, testing services; learning resource center; elements of advisement and tutoring, all in one location,” he said.
On Wednesday, University officials gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the improvements, which also include a new “meditation zone” on the third floor that includes reclining chairs and sofas, as well as tables and regular chairs. The space offers students a chance to “rejuvenate,” after putting in long study hours, said Ray Wang, dean of library and information services.
“Today is a very special day, because today we take a very important step from being a traditional book-reading facility to student success learning center,” Wang said.
During the summer, the archive book section was moved upstairs to make room for the student-centered makeover.
Kenady Hills, the Student Government Association president, applauded the renovations, calling the improvements symbolic of the University’s progress and dedication to serving students.
“It is a symbol of the upward trajectory of UNO’s facilities, enrollment, retention and student engagement on this campus,” Hills said. “The flexible library hours, and the newly remodeled first floor and outside space make students feel even more welcome.”