When the William S. Carlson Library opened at the University of Toledo more than four decades ago, it was a repository for more than one million volumes of printed reference materials with card catalogs to direct students to the resources they needed.
Today the space looks much different thanks to a recently completed $6 million upgrade that features more open spaces, additional group study rooms and a new veterans lounge. The east wall also has been replaced with a curtain of windows to let in more sunlight.
“Modern libraries are no longer just a vault of books and reference materials. They are environments where students want to come and are inspired to learn,” said Beau Case, dean of University Libraries. “Librarians continue to provide students with the resources they need to succeed, and we are excited to engage our students in discovery in our new facility.”
A ribbon cutting to celebrate will take place at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, on the library’s second floor with UT President Sharon L. Gaber, Student Government President Jimmy Russell, Case, and Jason Toth, associate vice president for facilities and construction.
The ceremony is part of the university’s celebration of Founder’s Day, which marks the 145th anniversary of when UT was established with Jesup W. Scott’s donation of 160 acres of land to found what was then the Toledo University of Arts and Trades.
UT is holding its first Day of Giving, Rocket Forward: You Launch Lives, on Oct. 12 to encourage alumni, students, faculty, staff, volunteers and members of the community who support the institution to follow in Scott’s footsteps and invest in the university’s future.
Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, tours will be provided to see the library’s new features.
In addition to the new glass wall spanning the entire height of the building, the renovations include an expanded and landscaped concourse that greets guests when they enter the library and an added mezzanine area on the second floor.
The renovated library also features a variety of seating and study space options to accommodate all learners, collaborative workspaces, conference rooms, an endowed technology classroom, and 47 group study rooms and 16 active learning areas.
The new LTC Thomas J. Orlowski ’65 Veterans Lounge on the second floor named for the UT alumnus and Army veteran provides a space for military veterans and current service members to relax, study and enjoy the camaraderie they experienced while serving their country.
The multiyear library renovation project was funded by state capital dollars. A gift from the estate of Dorothy MacKenzie Price, a UT alumna and patron of many university programs, also supported the new state-of-the-art model classroom in the building.