By ROBIN JACKSON
UVSC’s Losee Center is a four-story building, home to math and writing labs, the Women in Technology Department and Career and Technical Education training programs. The Losee Center also holds UVSC’s library.
With more than 24,000 students enrolled in the soon-to-be Utah Valley University, their two-story library has become a little cramped. The library is continually adding resources, and the rising student population has outgrown the building meant for only 8,800 students.
With the change of status for UVSC to Utah Valley University, the summer of 2008 will bring a new, $48 million library. Within more than 190,000 square feet on five levels, the library will have 40 group study rooms, media viewing rooms, lecture halls, a caf?, an extended-hours area, a copy center and more public-use computers.
Not only will more resources be available to students and faculty, but the library also will improve the image for the institution as the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities must approve the library. The NWCCU is an organization that inspects educational institutions for quality assurance and public confidence and has accredited UVSC as a college in the past.
One of the NWCCU standards stipulates that an accredited university library must hold in reserve all the necessary materials to support the university’s curriculum. This will mean some expansion in UVSC’s current collections.
“Our goal right now is to double or triple the current collection,” Freeman said.
Besides expanding general reference materials, the university hopes to compile a special collection with photographs, books and other historical records telling the story of UVSC. There are no current plans to have rare film or book collections at this point, Freeman said, but every library is different and all libraries work tightly together.
“Students are not aware that any student card is good at any student library in the state,” Freeman said.
More regulations by the NWCCU specify the quality of accessibility, personnel, planning and documentation of the library. Freeman said he doesn’t see any problems fulfilling the requirements with the new library, but the Losee Center won’t satisfy a university’s needs.
The new library will solve many problems present in the Losee Center. The building was not designed to be a library, so there is an entrance and exit on opposite sides, which is an unusual setup for a library.
During passing times, the Losee Center functions as a traffic zone, which defeats the purpose of a quiet study area, Freeman said.
Space for expansion and students is being rapidly utilized, and the library is running low on extra room.
“There are only four group study rooms,” said Keri Shiles, a library aide. “Often students will use the rooms without reserving them, or they will be double-booked in the reserve notebook.”
The new library, to be completed next summer, will have eight to 12 study rooms in the five-story building. Reserving them will be more efficient with up-to-date computers.
“The computers we have now are getting to the end of their life,” said Tim Rowley, a systems administrator for the Losee Center computers.
Because the present library was not built to accommodate a computer-dependent generation, wiring is a big problem, Rowley said. The new library will have more than 100 new computers available for students to use. The new library will also house the network of the entire campus with redundant systems and a generator in case of power-outages or emergencies.
The old computers are a major complaint of the current facilities.
“It takes the computers about 10 minutes to load my flash drive,” said Brian Stenquist, a UVSC student.
Stenquist rarely uses the Losee Center for study or research, but he comes in every day to read the newspaper. Many of his fellow students don’t use the Losee Center either.
Leann Hogenson, a library aide, said she thinks that if students knew how many services the center offered they would use the Losee Center more. Hopefully, she said, the new library will bring in students and inform them of what they can use.
Next summer, the library will completely vacate the Losee Center. It is undecided what the building will then be used for.