Freshly painted walls, new carpets and a computer lab with glass doors replaced the east wing of Middleton Library in May 2016.
In 2014, the University decided to move the math lab from Pleasant Hall to the third floor of Middleton Library. The LSU Undergraduate Admissions office wanted to create more space in Pleasant Hall for admissions, and the math department was in need of a more convenient lab location.
Throughout the spring 2016 semester, contractors transformed the east wing of the third floor into an advanced, updated and enclosed lab. Students and staff had mixed emotions about the new location.
“I think it will be really convenient for the students ... because they had to go to Pleasant Hall, [but because] they moved the lab to [Middleton] now it is very convenient,” Amrat Gandhi, a student assistant at the circulation desk said.
The downside to the new location of the math lab is that hundreds of books had to be removed and shifted around the library to create space for the lab, Gandhi said. The east wing, once filled with shelves of books, was cleared and reconstructed.
“The librarians actually had to go through each subject that they’re over and do what we call ‘weed,’ which is pull out books that are no longer relevant, are just old or that we have new copies of,” library associate Chad Metz said. “Once they did that, the circulation students as well as an independent company shifted the books around the third floor.”
Shifting and removing books took nearly the entire fall 2015 semester, Metz said. During the shifting and constructing process, Middleton offered ear plugs and additional quiet spaces for students to utilize due to the noise and lack of space on the third floor.
The math lab opened June 2016 in time for summer session students taking Math 1021, 1022 and 1023 classes.
“I think the math lab kind of gives us this fresh face and makes us more appealing to students,” Jeremy Fontenot, night supervisor of the circulation unit, said.
Fontenot and Metz predict that the addition of the math lab to Middleton will present new obstacles and opportunities for the fall 2016 semester.
“I think with the increased traffic, we could see after using the math lab because people are already here, they just decide to hang out here and study or visit with friends, maybe hopefully investigate some of the services we offer,” Fontenot said.