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Folsom Library Gets a Facelift
“Our students today have adopted new ways of accessing information and new ways of interacting with it,” says Loretta Ebert, director of Rensselaer Research Libraries. “Our challenge is to meet the new demands of today’s information seekers.”
Renovations to meet those demands included installing information hubs consisting of new IBM computers and pop-up LAN connectors for additional notebook computer use around six of the library’s original concrete columns at varying heights to facilitate standing, sitting, and wheelchair access. Wireless LAN access is available throughout the building.
New low-profile shelving and mobile tables were also added, to provide a flexible “learning laboratory” environment where students can work both individually and collaboratively.
A computer-controlled LED lighting system is operated by a Thermonitor program, which senses the temperature outdoors and produces a spectrum of subtly changing colors designed to make the library inviting throughout the seasons.
Additional upgrades to the main floor include an art wall featuring a Hobo-Dyer inverted map of the world imprinted with the Rensselaer phrase “Why not change the world?” in 21 languages and scripts, new carpeting, and a completely revamped Library Café.
Jorge Vidal ’91, project manager and designer with Rensselaer’s campus planning and facilities design department, developed the overall project design wih input from faculty, students, and staff.
“We now have a space that, indeed, enables and supports an engaging experience for everyone in this community, and creates a lively environment in which students can learn, can do, and can be,” said President Shirley Ann Jackson, during a dedication ceremony that took place on Dec. 1.
The renewal of the main floor of the Folsom Library represents the first major refurbishment since the space opened in 1976.
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