Milne Library renovations based on student opinions

Milne Library, a favorite Geneseo haunt for many students, has improved its resources and accessibility. The historical document collection recently reprinted a variety of historical texts from the Genesee Valley, ranging from cookbooks to phonebooks to a plan for a railroad from Buffalo to Washington, D.C.

These books were previously only available in one library in the state, and the library staff not only makes hard copies available to the Geneseo College and community but also puts digital copies online for easy access.

Special Collections Librarian Elizabeth Argentieri said she hopes that these historical collections will “improve access,” “put our [Geneseo] name out there as publishers” and make Geneseo and its historical collections more known to the students and community.

The second and main floor of the library, which contains Books & Bytes as well as most private and group study areas, also went through some dramatic changes. The library staff focused efforts on making the library’s materials and space as accessible as possible for student utilization.

“I like it [on the second floor]. I think it makes it a lot less cluttered but I also feel like there is not as much seating area … Milne always seemed really crowded at the beginning of this semester. I feel like even though there is less seating than there used to be people come to Milne, so its nice with less clutter.” junior Rachel Crawford said.

The spaces were changed “to make them a bit more effective,” library staff member Ryann Fair said. “The front desk is actually a lot easier to navigate. The spaces are more delegated for particular things … it’s more crowding in the computer area,” senior Emily Withers said.

Among the changes is the addition of an area that used to be office space for staff members. Cubicles and private study areas now allow students to work with one another. There’s also a new comfortable space put aside for the library’s reference collection instead of having it share the space with a computer lab.

“It’s more wasted space because a lot of people don’t want to sit next to someone that they don’t know. So those six person tables don’t get used or are by one person at a time,” sophomore Brad Mulligan said.

The library conducted a survey over the summer and took students’ suggestions in reorganizing the space and these changes are made completely around the students’ wants and interests.