By Kristin Miller
Walking into the Livingston Lord Library, it’s impossible not to notice the changes which have taken place over the last couple years.
Gone are the days of dim, outdated study spots, replaced by light, open spaces with interactive furniture, state-of-the-art technology and an overall improved atmosphere.
To celebrate all the changes, a week of events has been organized to take place in conjunction with MSUM’s homecoming.Students, staff and prominent members of the community have been invited to make the re-launch of the library an event to remember.
Events will include a ribbon cutting, a unique scavenger hunt and a visit from an award-winning author.
Brittney Goodman, who serves as executive director of library services, said plans for the celebrations have come as a joint effort between library staff, the
IT department and Student Senate, with everyone hoping for a good turn out from the campus community.
“We want to get as many students here as possible,” Goodman said, to help mark this milestone in the library’s history.
“The big shebang,” all invited
The ribbon cutting ceremony will be the centerpiece of the grand opening events.
“That’s the big shebang,” Goodman said about the ceremony, set to take place on Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. in the main body of the library.
The event marks the culmination of the project, which has been ongoing since designs were proposed in 2008. Over $19 million in funding went into the renovations, with construction on the library beginning in January 2012. President Anne Blackhurst will be speaking at the event, as well as Associate Vice Chancellor Brian Yolitz and Student Government President Cody Meyer.
The ribbon cutting is set to be officiated by the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of commerce, and all in attendance are invited to stay for an open house with refreshments and the opportunity to tour the library.
Tours will also be given on homecoming Saturday, when students, alumni and community members will all be visiting campus for the parade and football game.
“It will be nice for them to see,” Goodman said, especially for MSUM alumni who spent their student years studying in the pre-renovation library.
Some of the features they’re most excited to debut include technology upgrades and new spaces for students to study, do group work and access computers.
MSUM students are equally happy with the changes.
“It seems like there’s so much more space to do your homework,” said MSUM senior Madeline Cameron, “I was in there three times today and sat in three different spots.”
Another project staff hope to have ready to showcase during the week’s events is the 24-hour student lounge, which will be located on the side of the building facing the campus mall.
“That lounge is going to have a fireplace and a lot of comfortable seating,” Goodman said.
The lounge will complement the 24-hour computer lab, which opened last semester, and to which students have access with the use of their Dragon ID cards. There will be moveable furniture to make a dynamic, interactive space, “possibly for poetry readings or other events,” Goodman said.
Snap a selfie, score some swag
To get students and staff familiar with these changes, library staff have come up with a unique scavenger hunt.
“It’s not really a hard one,” Goodman said with a laugh, but it’s designed to get people out and about, exploring the library and all the new features it has to offer.
Question forms are available at the library’s main desk, and after filling out each item, participants are asked to take a selfie in their favorite spot in the library.
Staff members are planning to post the photos on Facebook and the library’s homepage to get more students interested in coming in to take a look for themselves.
Students and staff who complete the form can turn it in to be entered into a drawing which will take place during the ribbon cutting event.
The drawing prizes include a one-year subscription to Amazon Prime, wireless speakers and commemorative library renovation t-shirts.
Author visits to round out tour
Candace Flemming, an award-winning children’s author, will be doing an author-talk to round out events, with her presentation taking place on Sept. 30 at 4:30 p.m. in the Library 103 auditorium.
“I like to think of it as our capstone,” said Pam Werre, curriculum materials center librarian.
Flemming was the 2014 winner of the of the Comstock Read Aloud Award, and had previously been an honor recipient in the Wanda Gág awards, both given through programs based at MSUM.
It Flemming’s first visit to campus and she plans to speak about her personal journey as an author, as well as visit a creative writing class here on campus to pass on some wisdom to students who one day may follow in her footsteps.
More information on events connected to the library’s grand opening can be found on their page on MSUM’s website.