The Great Case Race

The Great Case Race

Claire O'Hara

It’s official: in just over seven weeks from today, the construction site mid-campus will be transformed into the new and improved Case Library. Upon returning from spring break on March 18, students will be able peruse the stacks, examine the high-tech Library Automated Storage and Retrieval (LASR) system and study in a space that many have never known as part of their Colgate experience.

Despite the original completion date having come and gone with the start of the 2006 school year, Project Manager Vito Bolognone explained that the first four floors of Case Library will be open and fully functional when students return to campus after spring break.

While the fifth floor will remain closed for a time, the first through fourth floors boast many study spaces and numerous amenities that were previously unavailable to the student body.

The first and second floors will contain the majority of the “stacks” to allow for easy access for the students along with the archive, rare book and conservation rooms for Colgate’s special collections. High tech audio-visual rooms for filming and recording have also been installed. These rooms have been equipped with state of the art technology and will be available for use of the entire student body.

One of the biggest changes to the library will be the addition of the reading rooms. Located on the north side of the first, second, third and fourth floors will be comfortable study spaces with windows designed to face the best views on campus. These reading rooms will be outfitted with study-friendly furniture, very similar to that in the O’Connor Campus Center (Coop).

The third floor is bound to be a hub of activity in Case, for it contains what project manager Bolognone calls “Main Street”: the circulation desk, a primary reference area and a technical support help desk for students with unruly computers.

Behind “Main Street,” however, is one of the most futuristic parts of the new Case – the LASR system.

The LASR system is intended to provide students and faculty with easy access to Colgate’s growing book collection without the drawback of huge stacks taking up study space.

In contrast to the system currently in use at the temporary library in the James C. Colgate Hall, members of the Colgate community will be able to have the books they request online available to them at the circulation desk within as little as seven seconds.