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Renovation Plans for the Milbank Memorial Library

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Renovation Plans for the Milbank Memorial Library

After a review of the programs and services of Milbank Memorial Library, James G. Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian, Columbia University and Sonja Johnson, Director of Facilities Programming and Utilization, Indiana University, wrote a report on the improvement of TC's library. The detailed plan shows how TC can modernize, redesign and refurbish it. This report is available on reserve in the library.

Milbank Library has one of the largest collections of educational resources including curriculum guides, toys and children's books, said Neal. If the renovations are done well and the funding is in place for further expansion, TC's library will be one of the best education libraries in the nation.

The project was launched two years ago by the Library of the Future Seminar Committee, headed by Gary Natriello, Professor of Sociology and Education. A recent public meeting held by Natriello allowed community members to informally talk about the report and the changes it detailed.

The report-which is not a final plan, but consists of possible solutions-is broken down into two separate sections: the library's vision and the floor-by-floor program plan. It addressed the current as well as the future allocation and use of space; an analysis of building systems, infrastructure, aesthetics and technology; and identification of key internal and external trends and developments that will impact the library.

The report stressed that more than ever before, libraries need to "pursue strategic thinking, fiscal agility, and creative approaches to the development of information services and the expansion of markets." Although the report acknowledges that there is a three-to-five-year plan for the vast changes, it also looks at long-term changes with adaptability while keeping in mind the Library's priorities.

The next step for the Committee is to interview and choose the architects to do the renovations. When they choose the architects, the Committee has to keep in mind historical preservation of the building and its collections as well as accessibility and security that works within the budget constraints.

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