Lights, Camera, Café?

IMG_8327The law library will see two major projects this summer. The first is a lighting replacement project in the reading room. Over the years the reading room has become dimmer and dimmer. And although our lovely floor to ceiling windows shed tons of natural light, it can be much darker on cloudy and rainy days. A large scale lighting replacement project will solve this problem.

In the early 90’s, 40 of the existing 160 incandescent fixture/lamps were swapped out with 400 watt metal halide fixtures/lamps and the remaining were abandoned in place. This was done as an upgrade to the lighting in the space. However, the characteristics of metal halide lamps are such that once they reach 70-80 % of their estimated life, the lighting quality deteriorates significantly in terms of both luminosity and uniformity of color and distribution. Currently only those 40 of our 160 canisters are functional.

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The second project you may have already noticed as library staff and student workers removed and shifted large amounts of books to completely clear a selection of shelving on the main floor. If you visited the main floor between April and May you couldn’t help but wonder what all those book trucks and boxes were for, and where all those volumes were going. Some of the bound periodicals were placed in boxes and “weeded” out since they are available in full image via Hein Online. Those volumes were then taken to the Athens-Clarke County Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM). The remaining volumes were then shifted to the shelves closer to the reading room tables to free up all shelving between the current water fountain and restrooms.

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drawing of café-style seating

This summer the empty shelving will be removed completely and replaced by new ADA accessible restrooms, and ADA accessible water fountain, and café-style seating. The changes have a dual-purpose for both safety and improvement. The safety concerns arose from outdated switchgear equipment that was not up to code. The improved space will hopefully serve as a hub of group study for law students. The tables will be outfitted with power outlets as well as some large monitors.

During this construction the reading room will be noisier than usual, but it will remain accessible at all times. If construction becomes disruptive, the library staff encourage students and other visitors to take advantage of the law library annex which will remain noise-free throughout these two projects.

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