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MCC library renovation will create a student-centered space

3/16/17

Model of the new library facadeFrom the Muscatine Journal

Muscatine Community College will renovate its 40-year-old library this summer.

The $2 million renovation plan was approved by the EICC Board of Trustees on Monday night, with three-quarters of the funding coming from grants. The biggest gift came from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, but other organizations, such as the HNI Foundation and Kent Corporation also contributed.

MCC President Naomi DeWinter said the college is still securing donations for the project, but a portion of the money also will come from the college’s capital fund — money earmarked for facilities renovation and maintenance.

The new library will feature a more inviting entrance and more open environment, flexible seating and small-group study rooms.

“What we know about student learning is so much more than what we knew when this library was built so we’re trying to respond to that,” DeWinter said.

There also will be more electrical outlets and new equipment, including video cameras, large screens students can hook their computers to, and video studios where students can record themselves.

“We don’t have enough electrical outlets … people want to plug things in, we don’t have enough electrical equipment to really give students what they need,” said Nancy Bird Luikart, assistant dean for library services.

New floorplan layout for the library

The library also will receive a fresh coat of paint and new carpets and flooring to make it more visually appealing.

“We want students to stay and take advantage of everything we have to offer,” DeWinter said. “This environment (now) doesn’t shout out to you ‘stay!’ it shouts out ‘go home!’”

In its current configuration, the library’s tutoring services and other supports are relegated to one corner, potentially hindering students who are embarrassed to ask for help. The new design will make the entire area a student success center.