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Renovation Review: Cranes & Elevators

If you’ve been following our renovation updates, then you know that the second floor of the Library has been completely gutted in the space of one week. Marble slabs were removed, walls were disassembled, and the elevator was blocked off to keep curiosity at bay (and our patrons safe). Now begins new construction – wiring, plumbing, lighting and ventilation – cranes will lift the building materials from the loading dock and through a second floor window. We ask that patrons stay clear of the second floor stairwell doors and be aware that delays might be experienced when using the elevator.

And don’t forget, the books that were once housed on the second floor can be found in Falvey West, which patrons can enter from the first floor near the print center. Feel free to ask for help at the front desk!

Photo by Alice Bampton


Renovation Review: Phase One Construction

On Monday, Aug. 22, surveyors and contractors began working on the second floor “Learning Commons in Falvey” project, which will eventually bring together academic research librarians and staff from the mathematics lab, learning support and writing center into one unified space.

The book collections that were once housed on that floor have been moved to Falvey West, a section of Old Falvey Hall that was refurbished over the summer. The entrance to Falvey West is on the first floor of Falvey Library and can be freely accessed by patrons who wish to browse and retrieve books in the A – DX call number ranges.

“The first day or two of work involved site assessment and the development of a project sequencing plan by the contractors themselves,” according to Joe Lucia, University librarian. Demolition and infrastructure work will take place over the next few weeks with louder work taking place between midnight and 6:00 a.m. “Scheduling work this way will minimize the impact of construction noise on the library study and work environment,” said Lucia. (Watch a video of the marble slab removal below.)

The Special Collections room will be sealed off from the rest of the second floor in order to protect the valuable collections from dust.  The elevator and stairwells will be blocked off at the second floor to prevent unauthorized entrance and to protect library patrons.

As always, library staff can be called upon for assistance and information. Our aim is to provide a comfortable and accessible work and study space throughout construction.

(Previous blog posts about the renovations can be found here.)

Photo by Alice Bampton – Video by Joe Lucia


Renovation Review: Falvey West – Open for Browsing & Borrowing

At long last, the Falvey West stacks, which contain circulating books in the A – DX call number ranges, are now open for patron browsing and borrowing. Our new collection space can be accessed from the former bound periodical entrance (Falvey Library, first floor) adjacent to the print center. Signs are posted inside the new stacks directing patrons to call number ranges. The center stairwell in Falvey West connects the three lower floors, ground through second.

The Falvey West upper floors (third & fourth) are restricted and contain special collections, microfilm, videotapes and other miscellaneous materials.

As always, staff at the front service desk are available for assistance. Please stop by or call us at 610-519-4270 with any questions you may have. We’re here to help!

Photo by Laura Hutelmyer


Special Collections Reading Room Closed June 24 to Nov. 1

The Special Collections Reading Room will be closed from June 24 to Nov. 1 while the renovation of the library second floor is taking place. Please feel free to contact us by email ( or, or phone (610-519-5271) if you would like to consult items from Special Collections during this period. We will attempt to make individual arrangements for consultation in another area of the Library.


Renovation Review: Temporary Offices

Are you a student looking for a job in the library? Do you need to meet with the library director? Are you a contractor working in the library facility? Are you working with library staff on an event?

We can help you find your way to our temporary offices.

In order for construction to begin on the second floor of Falvey Library, a few people had to move into Old Falvey. The library director and staff from the business & administration, outreach, communication, and digital projects teams are now located in the former Reading Room on the second floor of Old Falvey Hall. That area can be accessed from the Old Falvey main entrance. Listed below are staff who are located in this space:

Jeannine Ahern, Alice Bampton, Margaret Duffy, Alexandra Edwards, Jeff Eisenberg, Mary Heyman, Joseph Lucia, Gina McFadden, Darren Poley, Joanne Quinn, Jackie Smith and Stephen Spatz. (Laura Bang temporarily resides in the resource management area on Falvey Library’s ground floor.)

Feel free to visit our temporary offices!

Photo by Luisa Cywinski


Renovation Review: Bids and Books

The renovation construction project has been put out to bid and once we have a contractor selected, as early as the first week of August, it could get quite noisy in the library. They will be using jack hammers to create passages for new pipe work and to reroute plumbing for sprinkler systems. The Special Collections room and its contents will be protected by sealing off the entire area with plastic sheeting.

The Old Falvey reading room is almost ready for its new occupants – Director, Business & Administration, Outreach, and Communications staff. The photo at right shows the original floor in that room, which will be temporarily carpeted as an office space.


Renovation Review: Office Space

By the end of July, the Old Falvey Reading Room, where our VHS and microfilm collection was previously housed, will become a temporary office area for Business & Administration, Outreach, Communication, and Director’s Office staff. Old furniture, curtains, and shelving will be removed and new temporary carpeting will be laid and data and phone lines added. After the Reading Room space is clean, office staff will relocate so that their former offices on the second floor of Falvey Library can be dismantled.

It could get very noisy in the library over the next few weeks, but we hope library patrons and staff will be happy when they see the end result.

(A search on our web site for “Renovation Review” will result in previous articles about the renovation.)


Renovation Review: Nuts and Bolts

The moving and storage crew has dismantled the second floor shelving in preparation for more drastic renovations. They’re taking it down to the nuts and bolts, stripping away the old carpeting and ceiling tiles, and calculating how many additional electrical and phone lines will be needed. We look forward to sharing the new space with our new residents (Writing Center, Math Lab, & Learning Support Services). During construction, second floor staff  — Outreach, Digital Projects, Director’s Office, Business & Administration — will temporarily relocate to other office areas in the building.

For safety reasons, we can’t let anyone into the construction area, but we will post photographs so you can watch our progress.

Call our service desk at 610-519-4270 to request retrieval of main stacks books in the A – DX call number range.


Renovation Review: Lighting and Sound

All of the books from Falvey’s second floor have been successfully relocated to Old Falvey with room to spare. The next phase involves the electrical upgrades in Old Falvey that are required for the installation of a public address system, doors that release automatically when the fire alarm system is triggered, and new light fixtures that respond to movement. We don’t yet have a firm completion date for this work.

Book stacks, now completely empty, are being disassembled on the second floor of Falvey Library and heavier construction is due to begin in the next week or two. We will keep you informed of our progress on that front.

Library staff will continue to page main stacks materials in the A – DZ call number ranges from the Old Falvey Annex. Please contact us at the service desk for assistance at 610-519-4270 or by sending an email to As always, patrons can also place a hold in the catalog for a particular title, prompting staff to retrieve it and hold it at the front desk.


Renovation Review: Microfilm & Media Move

(from left to right, back row) Hatem Manosrah, Eric Ullmer, Eric Wagner, Bala Guduru, Raamaan McBride, Phylis Wright (left to right, front) Becky Whidden, Trisha Kemp

At a moment’s notice, Phylis Wright was asked to organize a group of staff to move the entire microfilm collection (28,000 reels) and videotape collection (4,000 items) from the Media Room to the Old Falvey 3rd floor stacks. She quickly assembled a group of volunteers from almost every team in the library. As needed, library team leaders and other staff provided input on the items to be weeded (close to 1600 reels) or on the placement of special materials. We also couldn’t have done this without the generous contributions of library book trucks from every library team. The project was accomplished in only four days, a Herculean effort given the amount of items to be moved. Hundreds of metal shelves had to be moved or adjusted to accommodate the 230 carts of materials that were moved while Phylis organized the process of “rack ’em, stack ’em, and pack ’em,” keeping the energy and good vibes flowing. Volunteers were provided with snacks, grapes, juice, and water throughout the week.

For those who wish to use microfilm or videotapes, library staff at the front desk are ready and waiting to retrieve them for you!

Our special thanks to: Trisha Kemp, Becky Whidden, Ann Stango, Bill Greene, Fr. Dennis Gallagher, Michael Foight, Darren Poley, Gina McFadden, Jeff Eisenberg, Raamaan McBride, Margaret Duffy, Gerald Dierkes, Donna Chadderton, Mimi DiLenge, Anne Ford, Sarah Hidding, Krishna Bethanbhatla, Bala Guduru, June Jiang, Chris Altonji, Hatem Manosrah, Eric Ulmer, Eric Wagner, FeiFei Yang & Luisa Cywinski.


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Last Modified: June 29, 2011