Aug 22, 2018-
Alejandra Nunez thinks of herself as a library connoisseur.
The UF psychology sophomore spends her free time hunting for overlooked libraries with plentiful outlets, window seats and an inviting ambiance, she said. Until recently, the UF Education library ranked nearly dead last on her list.
“It was just really outdated,” the 19-year-old said. “It really felt like you were stepping back in time.”
Now, after a $3 million renovation, Nunez said she may reconsider.
After eight months of construction, UF Education Library in Norman Hall reopened Monday. It hadn’t been renovated since it opened in January of 1980 and was beginning to show signs of wear and tear, Rachael Elrod, head of the library, wrote in an email. The new space boasts additional study rooms, a computer lab, more outlets, new furniture, a lactation room and other additions.
Elrod said more students will be able to benefit from the space thanks to the updates.
“I really like that we are able to provide more access to students with disabilities with the ADA restrooms and ADA service desk,” she wrote.
Along with updated carpet, lighting and furniture, a production lab, Makerspace, was also added. Educators can make die cuts — shapes cut out of thin material like paper or cloth they can use to decorate with— and use other resources the library hopes to bring.
Most of the project’s budget was funded by the state. About $60,000 came from the UF Americans with Disabilities Act compliance office, and about $80,000 came from the George A. Smathers Libraries operating expense budget, Frank Javaheri, a project manager for UF Planning, Design and Construction Division, wrote in an email.
Nunez barely recognized the library when she saw photos of the updates on Facebook. She’s looking forward to enjoying the new booths, outlets and other long-overdue improvements, she said.
“It really needed that upgrade, especially because Norman is always left behind,” she said.
NOTE: Click here for more information on the overall College of Education Renovation and Expansion being performed by Scorpio.