CofC library getting summer makeover

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The second and third floors of the College of Charleston's library closed Saturday and won't reopen until the middle of August as part of a renovation.

CofC officials said the renovations would improve usability by adding more seating, power outlets, and three more group study spaces. The additional power outlets will enable students to plug in their laptops, phones, and tablets.

"This renovation lays the foundation for us to create a real 21st century library," said John White, dean of libraries. "Even though the building seems new, it was planned in the mid-to-late 1990s and access to information has changed dramatically since then. Now every student is at the library with at least two devices that may need to be plugged in."

College officials said Starbucks will replace Java City, with plans for additional outdoor seating.

Other changes include putting the entire book collection on the second floor, expanding the Special Collections Reading Room, and expanding capacity for the library's unique manuscript and rare book collections, according to the College.

"We've put as much thought into our print collection as we have into access to digital resources," White said. "We will still only be at 55 percent capacity, which will allow us to add at least 10,000 books to our collection each year. We're maintaining the serendipity of discovery - when someone goes into the stacks looking for a book and finds others to read."

White says changes will be made on every floor of the library, which means the entire print collection will be unavailable from May 3 through August 18.

Students in summer session and faculty will still be able to borrow books from other state libraries and almost all libraries across the country through interlibrary loan and PASCAL, though.

The improvement project will also make room for the South Carolina Historical Society's collections of books, manuscripts and archives, which will be housed in Addlestone Library starting in January 2015.

"We are a 21st century archive, with dedicated, modern facilities to repair, restore, and protect rare manuscripts and artifacts," White said. "By locating the rich resources of Charleston and the S.C. Historical Society in one facility, the Addlestone Library will rank with the top research centers in the nation in Southern Studies."