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December 13, 2017

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December 13, 2017

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Finishing Touches to Library Renovation Include New Furniture, Larger Restrooms

Oct. 26, 2015

McDermott Library

Shounak Kulkarni, a computer science senior, and Anubhuti Rawat, an information technology and management graduate student, take advantage of the new study spaces in the Eugene McDermott Library.

Like the rest of campus, the Eugene McDermott Library has undergone a series of changes. The latest is new furniture and shelving on the second floor, resulting in a new look for the 40-year-old library.

Students now can study in fabric-covered carrels with desks, curved lounge seating, comfy chairs with ottomans, armless chairs, round tables and tall tables with high chairs.

“When we started working on this renovation project, the interior designer and I wanted to give students furniture that looked completely different,” said Dr. Ellen Safley, dean of libraries. “This space has a modern yet simple look. It’s inviting. I think we accomplished our goal.”

Melody Sun, interior designer for UT Dallas, spent many hours working with Safley and library administration selecting pieces, patterns and furnishings.

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Let the library administration know what you think of the recent renovations. See the upgrade process from start to finish and leave your comments on this Facebook photo album.

“The goal was to create a refreshing and inviting space where students would enjoy spending their time,” Sun said. “Whether it be private study or collaborative teamwork, students should be able to find an appropriate space with the various types of furniture and configurations.”

Each piece of furniture serves a purpose. The curved lounge seating and bookcase add visual interest and flow to the space. The trellises help guide the flow of library visitors, as well as help divide the different areas. The pinwheel tablet arm chairs provide a private area to work that doesn't take up much space. The lounge chairs, ottomans and computer bars have a coffee house vibe. Some of the new furniture has power outlets — a hot commodity for students.

“Electronic devices play a major role in the study process. If you can’t plug in your laptop, it becomes a problem,” Safley said. “This furniture is a smart option. The items that don’t have outlets are positioned near wall outlets so students can still plug in.”

The bathrooms on the second floor of the library also received a makeover. The two men’s restrooms were combined into one significantly larger facility, as were the two women’s restrooms on that floor. New tiling, lighting, countertops and sink hardware give the bathrooms a classic look that fits with the other renovations and the overall look of the library. Crews continue to work on renovations to the first-floor restrooms, which are scheduled to open in December.

In the spring 2015 semester, the library also upgraded its carpet, Services Desk, lighting and stairs.

Starting Monday, library customers will be able to use two charging lockers, each equipped with eight individual drawers for electronic devices. Each drawer works like a safe, designed to store, charge and secure smartphones, laptops and tablets. Users can set their own code with the digital keypad lock.

“Customers come to the library because of our resources. They stay because we’ve created a visually appealing, comfortable space conducive to learning,” Safley said. “We’re a major part of campus life. Keeping up with our customers’ needs is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a progressive academic space, and we hope to make more updates in the library as funds become available.”

McDermott Library

Accounting graduate student Mayiyang Zhang charges his devices while catching up on work.

Media Contact: Misty Hawley, UT Dallas, (972) 883- 4951, [email protected]
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].


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