Beren Campus Welcomes Library Renovations
Renovations at the Hedi Steinberg Library on the Beren Campus created an open study space for students out of what were previously stacks of periodicals. Featuring individual cubicles, lounge seating, and group study rooms, the renovations on the lower level of the library were the result of student requests for more study space on the Beren Campus.
Zahava Schwartz of the Beren Campus Student Life Committee, in cooperation with Head Librarian Edith Lubetski, conducted a student survey to determine many of the design decisions. The transformation was made possible by a gift from the Mitrani Foundation and the support of Dr. Karen Bacon, Dean of the Undergraduate Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
The renovations have been generally well accepted. "Even though it's smaller than the [Washington] Heights [Gottesman] Library, the new area in the resource library is spacious, clean, quiet, and an easy place to study," explained Ruthie Klein, a Stern College junior. "It's a huge step up from the old library and I choose to study there when I need to get a lot of work done." Miriam Pearl Klahr, a senior at Stern College, said, "It used to be a rakish room but now it's bright, with nice chairs similar to the seating in Heights Lounge, and a few small study rooms."
Still, the new area seems cramped and loud. "It's definitely a great improvement," continued Ms. Klahr, "but there still isn't enough space for everyone who wants to work on group projects." Hudi Owrutsky, a Stern College junior who frequently studies in the Beren library, commented, “because the study rooms aren’t soundproof, I find it noisy and crowded. I like the other parts of the library better because they are quieter and more spacious.”
The aim of the renovations was to address student desires for more reading and study space. Although there are some complaints about the lack of soundproof rooms and cramped space, clearly the rooms are being used and the project has been fruitful.